Pixel Qi And OLPC Sign Important Cross-License Agreement for Screen Technology

Two of the most well-known, yet equally unknown, companies are joining forces today, and it's all for the forces of good. One Laptop Per Child is a project that never really met its goal, and thus, has feel from the spotlight in the mainstream. Of course, OLPC XO (green) laptops are still being distributed to students, but at a higher cost than originally suggested.

Pixel Qi, on the other hand, has been instrumental in the progress of displays, and while they have yet to ship a product en masse to compete with E-Ink displays and the typical LCD, hopes are high that they can really turn the display industry on its head, and soon. This week, OLPC and Pixel Qi announced that they were jointly signing a cross-license agreement for screen technology. Amazingly, they're saying this is both "permanent and royalty-free," which will allow "both organizations to deliver products incorporating the world’s most advanced screen technology."

Pixel Qi's panels have been looked upon highly for their ability to work outdoors and yet drain very little power. It's almost the Holy Grail of displays, and while you may assume that such a magical panel would land on high-end Alienware units first, it looks like they may debut on some of the world's most inexpensive notebooks. Can't complain with that!

As a result of the agreement, OLPC receives full license to all Pixel Qi “3qi” screen technology, including 70+ patents in process and all current and future IP developed by Pixel Qi for multi-mode screens. Pixel Qi is leading the design of new screens for OLPC’s next-generation XO laptops. The agreement also calls for Pixel Qi to receive full license to the dual-mode (indoor and outdoor) display technology used in the XO.

“A huge barrier to getting computers to mass use in the developing world is limited access to electricity. Pixel Qi is designing new screens for OLPC that will keep laptops going even longer between recharges and excel in long-form reading while providing color and video,” said Nicholas Negroponte, founder and chairman of One Laptop per Child. “Furthermore, we are not aware of any blanket technology license of this scale of current and future inventions by a commercial firm to a non-profit humanitarian effort and hope to set an example for other corporations to follow.”