Here's a link to HIMX's product page. Not flashy, but certainly real, functional, and modestly informative.
Here's what I see there:
On my computer, each of the Product Information links work. FYI, I'm not a technical expert, but the color sequential specifies digital, as opposed to analog.
This post was formed as part of my response (pasted below) to Mr. Karl Guttag in my previous blog post, "Karl Guttag Weighs In On Himax And Google Glasses"
Thanks again for lending your expertise on this subject. I think everyone can see that your motivations are purely to uncover the truth about the progression of this exciting market. In many people's eyes, my motivations are apparently more questionable! But as an American, I believe everyone is entitled to their opinion. :)
Frankly, I believe we both just seek the truth. If HIMX is unlikely to serve GOOG's needs, I will graciously reverse my stance. I would also probably purchase shares of KOPN, since their odds of being designed into GOOG would be higher if HIMX's odds are lower. However, after doing some research on your concerns, I still believe HIMX is the most likely beneficiary.
Here's what I've found:
First, addressing the trouble you've encountered with their website, I've clicked around the site often. I see the "¡@" that you see, but I also see their product information. I did have some initial issues with a Firefox browser, but no issues with Explorer. I've provided a link and screenshot in an instablog post (More HIMX Information & Product Website).
From what I've gathered, HIMX didn't give up on LCOS. It's actually a growing revenue line for them. To your point, it appears that they had to work very hard to build its transmissive and color sequential capabilities. Via their earnings calls and direct discussions with company representatives I have also gathered the following:
• They've been working on these capabilities for several years, investing over $300 million into R&D over the past four years (imagine what could be done with a budget like that!). By comparison, KOPN's R&D spending over the same timeframe has been just over $80 million (this is not a knock on KOPN; just a reference point…I happen to like their positioning and its prospects for Golden-i)
• They made it clear that they are not publicly disclosing all of their capabilities and/or offerings for competitive purposes.
• They have publicly disclosed several capabilities, beyond LCOS, that fit nicely into the Google Glass vision. Here's a quote from their last earnings call -- "Also adding to this growth were our pilot shipments of LCOS microdisplays for the new and exciting head-mounted display application. Our fourth quarter non-driver businesses overall grew 27.6% year-over-year as many products experienced double-digit growth. Such products include CMOS image sensor, touch panel controller, power management IC, white LED driver, wafer level optics, IP licensing, and operational amplifiers."
• They do have a LCOS factory (public knowledge). In fact, LCOS is the only thing they produce in-house. I have also ascertained that it was built for scalability, such that 5M units/year of capacity can be added for $25 million.
• The company has stated that the LCOS we are discussing has an ASP in the $15-20 range, so it has to be a bit more sophisticated, since lesser components would be closer to $5 apiece. At $15 per unit, the revenue-ROI on factory expansions is four months and the margin-ROI is about 8-12 months.
Adding that $15-20 to the ASPs on the other parts listed above, HIMX has the capability to reap well in excess of $50M of revenue from a 2 million unit order. As the market and competition expands, that 2 million / $50M can quickly move to 20 million / $500M.
For the sake of my readers, I reiterate my stance that I don't refute any of your technical claims (to do so would be lunacy!). My background (going back to my hiring at IDC in 1994) is in working closely with industry experts (such as yourself!) and digging up key data points - pieces of a mosaic that has yet to be fully revealed to the general public :^)
Frankly, I see plenty of room for MANY vendors to benefit. I have simply started with HIMX, due to my calculation of the odds that they are playing a part in Google Glass.
Thanks again for gracing us with your wisdom!
p.s. Here are some additional key comments from the last HIMX earnings call:
"there are quite a few segments which, we believe, as we move along to Q2 and second half, will pick up strongly. And they include among others CMOS image sensors, LCOS microdisplay, touch panel controller, et cetera."
"I just also want to mention LCOS. I think starting second half hopefully, we will some exciting growth, but probably certainly much less, though, in the first half when we will still be going through engineering runs with our customer. But that is on panel display. And there are non-panel display applications that we are working along with a few leading players in the world. So we are excited about that. But again, in terms of LCOS, you won't really see meaningful volume until second half of the year."
Unmistakably, they are working on SOMETHING that is coming out in the back half of the year… ;^)
Disclosure: I am long HIMX.