Google snaps up micro display maker Himax to move Glass release one step closer

Google has taken another step towards a mass produced version of Google Glass after purchasing a small stake in Himax Display Inc (HDI), a company which specialises in the manufacture and development of micro displays.

HDI is a subsidiary of Taiwanese tech firm Himax Technologies, a producer of fabless semiconductor chips. News of the acquisition sent Himax shares up a third to $6.86 (£4.47) on the Nasdaq.

"The purpose of the investment is to fund production upgrades, expand capacity and further enhance production capabilities at HDI's facilities that produce liquid crystal on silicon ("LCOS") chips and modules used in applications including head-mounted display (HMD) such as Google Glass, head-up display (HUD) and pico-projector products," Himax said.

Under the terms of the deal Google has purchased a 6.3 per cent stake in HDI with the option of raising its share to 14.8 per cent within a year. The financial details have not been disclosed but Himax has pledged to invest money to expand production at HDI.

"Google is a preeminent global technology leader. We are delighted to receive this investment and to form a strategic partnership with Google," said Jordan Wu, president and CEO of Himax, in a statement.

"Beginning the second quarter of this year, we had already begun expanding capacity to meet demand for our LCOS product line. This investment from Google further validates our commitment to developing breakthrough technologies and state‐of‐the‐art production facilities."

The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2013.