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Corning ready to produce '3D-shaped' Gorilla Glass, hints at future wearables

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Glass manufacturing giant Corning on Friday announced production readiness for a new 3D-forming method that can be applied to the company's widely-used Gorilla Glass, suggesting the firm is prepping an entry into the curved display market.

iWatch
Artist's rendition of purported Apple smartwatch. | Source: Yrving Torrealba


While the practicality of curved displays is debatable, the technology is seemingly en vogue, with OEMs like LG and Samsung introducing niche products boasting bowed form factors. Now Corning is about to enter the fray with its own 3D Gorilla Glass solution, perhaps paving the way for uniquely-shaped handsets and wearable computing devices.

The company is working on a vertically integrated operation with Taiwan-based G-Tech Optoelectronics Corp., which would allow fast and economical production of the specialized glass.

"We can now take Gorilla Glass all the way from flat sheet to a finished 3D-shaped product in Asia, expediting turnaround times and minimizing logistical complexity," said Corning Special Materials' senior vice president and general manager James R. Steiner.

A long-time Apple partner manufacturer, Corning's tough Gorilla Glass products have helped electronics makers create thin and light devices with all-glass fronts, like the iPhone and iPad. With the new 3D-forming technology, Corning is looking to take its strong substrates to completely new applications.

One area Corning has an eye on is wearables, or so-called "smartwatches," which need to be thin, light and resilient. A 3D-glass superstructure that can curve around a user's wrist would be an example application.

Apple itself is widely rumored to be working on its own smartwatch, but it is unknown if the supposed device will boast a curved display. In December, AppleInsider was first to report on an Apple patent for curved touchscreen displays, a technology that would be useful in designing either a comfortable smartwatch or bowed handset.

While no specific date has been set for the first commercial release to use Corning's new technology, the company is targeting a 2014 launch.
post #2 of 20

BREAKING: Corning makes Klein bottle out of Gorilla Glass. Apple to fill bottle.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #3 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

BREAKING: Corning makes Klein bottle out of Gorilla Glass. Apple to fill bottle.

I see what you did there. ("BREAKING")
Edited by SpamSandwich - 1/3/14 at 3:05pm

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #4 of 20
This can only mean...the all glass iBall.
post #5 of 20

And in a surprising departure from their popular "Gorilla" branding, Corning are rumored to call their new circular glass product the CornHole(TM).

 

Back to you Jen.

post #6 of 20
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post
This can only mean...the all glass iBall.

 

 

That was quick.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

This can only mean...the all glass iBall.

 

I'd have thought this was the obvious application of curved Gorilla Glass:

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #8 of 20

That's just what we need. A piece of curved glass to shatter all over our arm! 

Apple really needs better glass and hey, how about making it in America.

post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by lenslite View Post

That's just what we need. A piece of curved glass to shatter all over our arm! 
Apple really needs better glass and hey, how about making it in America.

Gorilla glass is already made inAmerica.
post #10 of 20
Like they said a solution looking for a problem.
post #11 of 20
To see the most plausible use of curved glass that Apple is likely to employ, check out this concept...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/54253411@N00/10196690814/
post #12 of 20
Let us all not forget Apple made a $578 million investment in GT Advanced Technology for sapphire glass, which is can readily replace Gorilla Glass, as well as, strengthening GG.

With Samsung becoming a part owner of Corning last year, I can see Apple's investment making GG less essential to Apple's glass needs.

http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/11/04/apple-signs-578m-sapphire-deal-with-gt-advanced-technology
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by leavingthebigG View Post

Let us all not forget Apple made a $578 million investment in GT Advanced Technology for sapphire glass, which is can readily replace Gorilla Glass, as well as, strengthening GG.

With Samsung becoming a part owner of Corning last year, I can see Apple's investment making GG less essential to Apple's glass needs.

http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/11/04/apple-signs-578m-sapphire-deal-with-gt-advanced-technology

I'm not sure it can readily replace GG. I have seen nothing about cost, making it large sheets, or how thin the sapphire can be, weight for a given volume, or production capabilities that would make it an ideal candidate to replace GG on iPhones, iPods, iPads and Macs (and what could be TV panels) in the near future.
Edited by SolipsismX - 1/4/14 at 8:31am

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #14 of 20
i get the idea of using curved glass on something like a watch, so it wraps to your wrist, however, thats going to be a hard one to get right anyway, as every wrist is a different size, and a 'loose bracelet' type device is useless, so it would have to be bendable to match your wrist.
so actually, no i don't get it for use in a watch, god , talked myself out of that one.

but my main point was that I really don't get it for use in a phone or a tv. can someone please enlighten me on this one, if possible. why curved glass?

tv companies spent years telling us why flat screen was the best ever, so , besides making idiots upgrade at a premium price, why the hell would i want my tv curved?
or my phone? a curved screen only means i have to use touch in 3 dimensions now (harder)
and i have to make sure it goes into my pocket the right way around

curved around the edge of the phone seems utterly stupid.

so , the only use left is buildings like the new Apple SpaceShip HQ
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by leavingthebigG View Post

Let us all not forget Apple made a $578 million investment in GT Advanced Technology for sapphire glass, which is can readily replace Gorilla Glass, as well as, strengthening GG.

With Samsung becoming a part owner of Corning last year, I can see Apple's investment making GG less essential to Apple's glass needs.

http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/11/04/apple-signs-578m-sapphire-deal-with-gt-advanced-technology

I'm not sure it can readily replace GG. I have seen nothing about cost, making it large sheets, or how thin the sapphire can be, weight for a given volume, or production capabilities that would make it an ideal candidate to replace GG on iPhones, iPods, iPads and Macs (and what could be TV panels) in the near future.

 

Sapphire is much stronger (compression, tension and shear) and harder, but also 1.6 times the density of GG.  Not sure if that would be an issue for a watch, but probably would be for larger items.

post #16 of 20

There is not going to be an iWatch until battery issues are solved. I.e., not anytime soon.

post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

Sapphire is much stronger (compression, tension and shear) and harder, but also 1.6 times the density of GG.  Not sure if that would be an issue for a watch, but probably would be for larger items.

Weight aside, can it made into sheets that are as thin as GG? From the info I've seen it's grown in much more limited way and don't have the flex that GG has so I think it's unlikely that it could be made into sheets as economically, could be as thin, and wouldn't have the flex that GG has in my 15" MBP.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

Sapphire is much stronger (compression, tension and shear) and harder, but also 1.6 times the density of GG.  Not sure if that would be an issue for a watch, but probably would be for larger items.

Weight aside, can it made into sheets that are as thin as GG? From the info I've seen it's grown in much more limited way and don't have the flex that GG has so I think it's unlikely that it could be made into sheets as economically, could be as thin, and wouldn't have the flex that GG has in my 15" MBP.

 

Sapphire's high moduli and low strain to failure probably mean that it will never have that degree of flex. It can be produced in sheets - at least as large as an MBP screen - but it's expensive and such sheets are typically much thicker than GG (several mm). I could imagine a thin sapphire layer overlaid on GG for increased hardness, but their different coefficients of thermal expansivity might be an issue.

post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

Sapphire's high moduli and low strain to failure probably mean that it will never have that degree of flex. It can be produced in sheets - at least as large as an MBP screen - but it's expensive and such sheets are typically much thicker than GG (several mm). I could imagine a thin sapphire layer overlaid on GG for increased hardness, but their different coefficients of thermal expansivity might be an issue.

That's what I was thinking, albeit not in such in well defined or competent terms. I can see sapphire utilized for an iWatch display but not an iPhone display.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

That's what I was thinking, albeit not in such in well defined or competent terms. I can see sapphire utilized for an iWatch display but not an iPhone display.

From the link I provided above, "It's a potential alternative to Corning's potassium-enhanced Gorilla Glass, which Apple currently uses in its iPhone screens. Sapphire can be made thinner, and therefore lighter, but has historically also been more expensive."

I do not understand all of the pros and cons of Sapphire vs. Gorilla glass, but it could be within the realm of possibility that Apple has figured out a way to help produce sapphire displays much more efficiently than is being done currently.

Also, what if a new tier of the iPhone was in the works? This tier would utilize sapphire glass and liquid metal? The new tier of iPhone would be more expensive than the iPhones today, which would allow Apple some freedom with managing cost of materials.

Think about this for a moment. Which company has enough "status symbol" clout to successfully introduce and sell a higher high-end mobile phone other than Apple?
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