The Nintendo Wii has introduced many families to the joy of gaming and has also introduced others to the fragility of modern television screens. Today’s flat panel TV’s are thin, sexy and unfortunately rather fragile, a fact we have been forced to live with, until now. Corning Inc. claims to have the answer we have all been hoping for, Gorilla Glass . Gorilla Glass is roughly two to three times stronger than the standard chemically treated versions of common soda lime glass, an attribute bolstered by the fact that the increased strength is present even when the Gorilla Glass is half as thick as its soda-lime competitors. Corning’s not done there, not only is the product flexible (as witnessed in the photo below from Corning Inc.) but is can also be produced in sheets thinner than a dime.
While most tech news is of a company’s latest breakthrough or pre-launch product, Gorilla Glass has actually been around since 1962, simply waiting for the right application and that initial application was the mobile phone market. Corning is not at liberty to discuss all of it customers, however they do report it’s use in over 100 devices, including the recent Motorola Droid smart phone.
Corning see’s a large market in the flat panel TV industry, as evidenced by their recent commitment to increase production capacity. To accommodate the increase in demand, Corning has announced that they will be investing approximately $800 million to construct a new glass substrate facility in China. Corning Inc.’s Chairman and CEO Wendell P. Weeks stated:“The need for additional Gorilla glass capacity is based in part on the product’s new application as a TV cover glass,” Weeks explained. “Gorilla glass has already been embraced by information technology and handheld device makers, and the addition of the TV cover glass application creates a tremendous opportunity for further growth.”
Gorilla Glass would allow TV manufacturers to forgo the bezels around the screen and instead allow a more elegant, borderless design, while simultaneously providing enhanced durability and scratch resistance for an estimated consumer-level cost increase of $30 to $60 per set. No longer will the joy of Wii-gaming have to be tempered by the concern that one overly ambitious game of Wii bowling by a fumble-fingered friend end in TV-tragedy.
The full press release can be viewed here .