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60-Year-Old Glass Technology Finds Its Market

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the nine-hundred-pounds dept.

Businesses 197

In the 1950s, Corning developed a glass product for which it has been trying to find a market ever since. What is now being called "Gorilla Glass" is currently worth $170M/yr. and is poised to quadruple (potentially) in the next year or two. Gorilla Glass is used on many smartphones including Motorola's Droid. ("Whether Apple Inc. uses the glass in its iPod is a much-discussed mystery since 'not all our customers allow us to say,' said [the] general manager of Corning's specialty materials division.") "Because Gorilla is very hard to break, dent or scratch, Corning is betting it will be the glass of choice as TV-set manufacturers dispense with protective rims or bezels for their sets, in search of an elegant look. Gorilla is two to three times stronger than chemically strengthened versions of ordinary soda-lime glass, even when just half as thick, company scientists say. Its strength also means Gorilla can be thinner than a dime, saving on weight and shipping costs. Corning is in talks with Asian manufacturers to bring Gorilla to the TV market in early 2011..." The Christian Science Monitor elaborates on the theme of job growth outside the US, as Corning plans to invest several hundred million dollars to retrofit an LCD plant in Shizuoka, Japan to manufacture the glass. The company will also expand the workforce in the Kentucky plant that now manufactures Gorilla Glass.

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197 comments

thinner than a dime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33121736)

What percentage of a library of congress is this? Damn it I need precise measurements!

Re:thinner than a dime (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33121766)

I would say you can round it off to between 0-1%

Re:thinner than a dime (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 3 years ago | (#33121788)

At least they could be more specific. A Capped Bust dime? Seated Liberty dime? Roosevelt dime? And how much thinner? Please use fraction of 2010 Los Angeles telephone directory. Thank you.

Re:thinner than a dime (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 3 years ago | (#33121994)

Let me give you a more precise measure.

In the Library of Congress there's a book called "How to play theological ping-pong"...

Re:thinner than a dime (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122144)

How thick is it?

Re:thinner than a dime (0, Troll)

Hylandr (813770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122578)

About 3 inches wide,

Most women don't like it that big...

- Dan.

Re:thinner than a dime (1)

KrimZon (912441) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122110)

I think I could work that out - how thick is the 2010 Los Angeles telephone directory in world's longest snakes?

Re:thinner than a dime (2, Funny)

need4mospd (1146215) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122408)

Damn it I need precise measurements!

It's less than 272,000 beard seconds thick.

Gorilla Gorilla Gorilla (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33121746)

Yeah dance Balmer

How apt (1)

dargaud (518470) | more than 3 years ago | (#33121748)

Gorilla glass for devices that cause gorilla arm syndrome [wikimedia.org] . There must be a sarcastic tag somewhere in there.

Re:How apt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33121840)

Gorilla glass for devices that cause gorilla arm syndrome [wikimedia.org]. There must be a sarcastic tag somewhere in there.

You mean ironic tag, there must be a dictionary somewhere (I'm being sarcastic).

Re:How apt (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122280)

Your TV has a touchscreen? Cool!

It's cool, isn't it? (2, Insightful)

TamCaP (900777) | more than 3 years ago | (#33121760)

I love the general manager's remark regarding some other invention: "We're not sure what we're going to do with it, but it's cool, isn't it?" This clearly shows that people in there truly enjoy their work :D And it also seems, they can at some point turn the coolness factor into profit.

Re:It's cool, isn't it? (5, Insightful)

Ice Tiger (10883) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122334)

I don't know what's more amazing, the glass or the fact a modern company invests 10% of its revenue into R&D with the patience to wait tens of years until their is a market and then quickly capitalises on that.

Might have to buy some stock!

Re:It's cool, isn't it? (2, Insightful)

that IT girl (864406) | more than 3 years ago | (#33123060)

I thought this too. The ability to see long-term is so rare these days! I hope it pays off big time for them (and I'm pretty sure it will).

60 years? (5, Interesting)

SpinningCone (1278698) | more than 3 years ago | (#33121784)

you would think that there would be plenty of applications for a super strong thin glass. i'm guessing it's prohibitively expensive to use compared to other products. either that or corning needs a better marketing team.

the picture of the guy bending a small sheet in the article link is pretty cool.

Re:60 years? (5, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#33121876)

I'm not at all surprised that it hasn't show up in consumer electronics until quite recently, since LCDs were cost prohibitive until pretty recently, and touchscreens were not that big a deal(you can find examples going back at least to the 70's; but they weren't exactly mass-market items). Thin glass would have been counterproductive for CRTs, since, when your product basically involves pointing a small linear accelerator at the user's face, you want an adequate amount of leaded glass between it and them.

I am surprised, though, that corning never managed to sell any serious quantity as a structural material. Glass-coated skyscrapers have been considered quite stylish for decades, and I'd imagine that "resists birdstrike, rocks, wind forces, and idiots leaning against the windows just as well as ordinary glass, at 20% the weight" would be a selling point.

Re:60 years? (5, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122042)

I am surprised, though, that corning never managed to sell any serious quantity as a structural material. Glass-coated skyscrapers have been considered quite stylish for decades, and I'd imagine that "resists birdstrike, rocks, wind forces, and idiots leaning against the windows just as well as ordinary glass, at 20% the weight" would be a selling point.

Maybe the manufacturing process grows exponentially beyond a certain, very small, size; making it only useful for the tiniest of skyscrapers, where highly paid squirrels take important decisions from their very high offices with Central Park views.

There are not as many of such clients as you might think.

Re:60 years? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33122328)

I am surprised, though, that corning never managed to sell any serious quantity as a structural material. Glass-coated skyscrapers have been considered quite stylish for decades, and I'd imagine that "resists birdstrike, rocks, wind forces, and idiots leaning against the windows just as well as ordinary glass, at 20% the weight" would be a selling point.

Maybe the manufacturing process grows exponentially beyond a certain, very small, size; making it only useful for the tiniest of skyscrapers, where highly paid squirrels take important decisions from their very high offices with Central Park views.

There are not as many of such clients as you might think.

Epic win. You owe me a new netbook, this thing doesn't like the coffee that came out my nose.

Re:60 years? (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122592)

There are a variety of specialised glass types used in skyscrapers and new types of glass are developed every few years with different additives to provide different properties. Some work well, others expand and contract too much, pop out, fall twenty floors and scare the shit out of anyone nearby.

Re:60 years? (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122866)

Some work well, others expand and contract too much, pop out, fall twenty floors and scare the shit out of anyone nearby.

If you're lucky.

Re:60 years? (3, Insightful)

quacking duck (607555) | more than 3 years ago | (#33123144)

I am surprised, though, that corning never managed to sell any serious quantity as a structural material. Glass-coated skyscrapers have been considered quite stylish for decades, and I'd imagine that "resists birdstrike, rocks, wind forces, and idiots leaning against the windows just as well as ordinary glass, at 20% the weight" would be a selling point.

Not to mention, if this had been around back in '86 Scotty could've used sheets of this to build the tank for those humpback whales; instead he had to reveal the formula for transparent aluminum in exchange for sheets of heavy, 6"-thick plexiglass!

Re:60 years? (2, Funny)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#33121916)

They needed to wait 60 years to measure the exact flow rate of this glass - you wouldn't want the bottom of your TV screen to go all wavy after a couple of years.

Re:60 years? (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122064)

You mean we could have had extra-slow-motion 3D TV 60 years ago? Damn...

Re:60 years? (1, Interesting)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122076)

To avoid possible whooshings... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glass#Behavior_of_antique_glass [wikipedia.org]

That is a myth from poor observation (5, Informative)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122802)

That bit is bullshit and should be removed - here's where the misconception comes from:

Lead pipe organ pipes flow over time and get thicker at the bottom, the reason being the weight providing stress and the temperature being close enough to the melting point that the stuff can flow - just like hot glass bends only a lot slower. It's called creep and it only really happens in simple pure materials when you are at least 2/3 of the way to the melting point of the material from absolute zero. Mix other stuff in and that pushes it to higher temperatures.
People heard about the lead pipes without understanding, saw that old windows were thicker and the bottom and thought that the glass must flow as well. The real answer is that until modern times it was very hard to make flat glass and that it was a common glaziers practice to put the thicker and stronger side of the glass at the bottom.
The melting point of glass is too high for there to be much movement over a mere thousand years at room temperature let alone two hundred years.

Re:60 years? (1)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122130)

thats a myth. while its true that glass 'flows' it does not flow fast enough to 'go wavy' the wavy glass you see in old houses and such was wavy the day it was made.

quick primer on sheet glass:
the way we make large panes of sheet glass now is usually to float molten glass on a bead of molten tin (which has a lower melting point than glass) this allows the glass to slowly cool in a controlled environment and be perfectly flat.
the way we *used* to make sheet glass was to place a large gob of molten glass on a spinning wheel much like a potters wheel, and let centripetal force draw it out into a large sheet, however, this caused the outer edge to be thicker than the inner areas of the sheet, and caused ripples. These huge discs where then cut into panes, which where installed thick edge downward.
extra example: If glass flowed fast enough to make noticeable ripples in 80 years (you can find rippled glass in houses that old and younger) then the windows in places like notre dam cathedral should be puddles in the bottoms of the window frames.

Re:60 years? (2, Informative)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122134)

BED of molten glass, not bead. not properly proofreading for the lose.

Re:60 years? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33122852)

Troll? Really? The guy gets a 'troll' for correcting his own post?

Re:60 years? (5, Funny)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122046)

Obviously they did find a market for it, albeit a small one, since there's a plant in Kentucky that manufactures it. I think the point is that the market for it is about to expand significantly.

Why didn't cell phone makers use it before? Simple - regular chemically-enhanced soda-lime glass is cheaper, and manufacturers used bezels to protect the edges, so it worked fine. The cost of LCDs was already high, so I doubt manufacturers felt much need to add sexy by dropping the bezel, given that many people were impressed enough with the concept of it being flat and lightweight compared to their CRT. And the cell market has, until recently, been mostly comprised of low-end feature phones that cell carriers can give away for free. Now people tend to want smart phones, and they have to look good, and they'll drop hundreds of dollars AND commit to a 3-year contract to get the latest shiny. So a few extra bucks to make 'em a little shinier will move more units, more quickly.

Now everyone wants to go exposed-edge because bezels are apparently now the work of the devil (his other name is Bezelbub, dont'cha know), I heard it from Pope Steve so it must be true! So it's worth spending the extra on Gorilla Glass so they don't have users complaining that their cell phones shatter when gripped and cause shards of glass to fly out of the remains of the screen and slice their jugulars wide open, which might interrupt their call when the conductive blood touches the antenna. If you think sweaty hands are bad, wait until you see the signal drop from blood-covered hands.

Re:60 years? (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122574)

Could also be production techniques have finally matured to where it's not prohibitively expensive. Was reading last week how Los Alamos lab has figured out a production process that makes it much cheaper and easier to manufacture kilometer+ lengths of super conducting cable.

Why can't more companies be like Corning? (5, Insightful)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#33121792)

It is rare these days to see companies devote 10% of their budget to R&D. Most tend to just not bother with R&D because it doesn't give ROI this quarter, and when they do, they gain the technology by buying a startup, or just copying someone else's work and improving on it.

60 year old glass? Most enterprises can't even think past the next couple quarters or to the next FY, much less this far. Almost any other company would have long since chucked the manufacturing process for it because it wasn't immediately profitable.

Re:Why can't more companies be like Corning? (4, Interesting)

Midnight's Shadow (1517137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33121884)

Very true. It is good to see a company that plans for the long term and I applaud their R&D spending and holding onto something because it might be useful in the future. However I have to ask, if this process and glass is 60 years old shouldn't the patent have run out quite a while ago? Shouldn't we have been seeing this before now in uses that Corning couldn't think of?

Re:Why can't more companies be like Corning? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33122348)

Maybe they didn't patent it all that time ago. Maybe it's all about a "secret" manufacturing process that nobody's figured out how to replicate yet. Maybe it's just that the cost to manufacture it on a wide scale wasn't reasonable until now. It could be a number of things.

Re:Why can't more companies be like Corning? (1)

SirGarlon (845873) | more than 3 years ago | (#33123008)

However I have to ask, if this process and glass is 60 years old shouldn't the patent have run out quite a while ago?

Yes. Maybe it's not patented: it could be a trade secret instead (like the formula for Coca-Cola).

Shouldn't we have been seeing this before now in uses that Corning couldn't think of?

Not if it's a trade secret. But even if it was patented and the patent expired, there's no guarantee anyone else would want to pick it up and start manufacturing it. It could have easily been overlooked because the original patent holder didn't make any money off it (until now).

Without Patent Protection to Wit (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 3 years ago | (#33121918)

I like the "we know how to make this, we have the technology and expertise, and we're going to build a plant so that we can sell it to our customers" approach.

Sounds Like an Argument for Patents (3, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#33121948)

It is rare these days to see companies devote 10% of their budget to R&D. Most tend to just not bother with R&D because it doesn't give ROI this quarter, and when they do, they gain the technology by buying a startup, or just copying someone else's work and improving on it.

Isn't that an argument for patents, though? I mean, you're saying that R&D isn't profitable in the eyes of most companies and why is that? I mean, we complain about patents but then if you look at the amount of innovation going on in countries where intellectual property is not enforced it seems to be fractions of what goes on in countries that enforce IP law. I'm not arguing for this but your complaint that not enough companies dump 10% into R&D seems, in my mind, to be heavily linked to the lack of reward. I thought patents and licensing those patents were supposed to be that reward or recoup mechanism.

60 year old glass? Most enterprises can't even think past the next couple quarters or to the next FY, much less this far. Almost any other company would have long since chucked the manufacturing process for it because it wasn't immediately profitable.

Well, from the article, it sounds as though they had pretty much shelved it and "In 2006, when demand surfaced for a cell phone cover glass, Corning dug out Chemcor from its database, tweaked it for manufacturing in LCD tanks, and renamed it Gorilla." Again, if you think about it, a patent is good for only ~20 years? So maybe when they 'tweaked' it they did that so they also could repatent it? They have a lot of patents related to glass composition [uspto.gov] .

Can their competitors just fire up a plant right now and start making Chemcor? You bet. Gorilla is probably repatented though to protect them from that and that illustrates why you don't see a whole lot of companies taking the Corning path.

Re:Sounds Like an Argument for Patents (3, Interesting)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122048)

If it's been around for 60 years, any patents on it would have expired long ago, unless they've been keeping it "trade secret" all this time; and, given the amount of information in TFA, that doesn't seem likely. Personally, I'm wondering why other companies aren't competing on this (yet).

Re:Sounds Like an Argument for Patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33122174)

There undoubtably have been updates to the manufacturing techniques (as well as some that were probably kept as trade secrets) using modern technology that are patentable.

Re:Sounds Like an Argument for Patents (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122564)

While "really hard glass of a certain composition and manufacture" is no longer under patent, I wouldn't be surprised if Corning recently patented "... made into screens for devices nobody had 60 years ago".

Hell, it worked for everybody using "... but on the internet".

Re:Sounds Like an Argument for Patents (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 3 years ago | (#33123252)

The original Motorola Droid uses it, I don't know what's 'secret' about it.

Re:Sounds Like an Argument for Patents (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33122184)

It is rare these days to see companies devote 10% of their budget to R&D. Most tend to just not bother with R&D because it doesn't give ROI this quarter, and when they do, they gain the technology by buying a startup, or just copying someone else's work and improving on it.

Isn't that an argument for patents, though? I mean, you're saying that R&D isn't profitable in the eyes of most companies and why is that?

Well in theory. However in practice it's still more profitable to wait for a startup to come up with something worthwhile and then buy them out (thus accuriring their pattents). Major companies still have little inscentive to do their own in house R&D except on the select low risk projects that are unlikely to dead end.

What patents really do is encourage companies away from the concept of a 'trade seceret'. This works because there is no protection if someone else reverse engineers your trade seceret, but on the other hand if you file a pattent (which requires disclosing your methods) you can get legal protection against copycats for a time. Without patents every new invention would be a trade seceret, corporate espionage would be more profitable than R&D, and it'd be almost imposible to build on existing ideas of others (because there's no inscentive for someone to give you accurate information regarding their trade secerets).

Re:Sounds Like an Argument for Patents (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122252)

Isn't that an argument for patents, though?

Possibly, but most people here are only against stupid, trivial patents, patents for ideas, software, business models and genes, and patents for stuff that's already covered by copyright. If there's anything that deserves to be patentable, I'd say this is it.

Re:Sounds Like an Argument for Patents (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122428)

Sounds more like an argument against the current patent system.

If you allow patents to last 60 years (whether explicitly or by small tweaks) so that the innovative people decades ahead of their time[1] get rewarded, you would reward far more patent trolls for longer. The trolls would be collecting tolls and taxes on obvious crap for 60 years. I suggest that would slow the pace of innovation down even more.

Hindsight is better than foresight, so perhaps instead of getting overworked patent examiners to decide whether to reward some application or not, perhaps there should be prizes for innovation. And these prizes would be awarded in hindsight. The money from the prizes will come via the registration fees. You do not get an automatic monopoly.

Yes the prizes will be peanuts compared to monopolies, but "everyone" always talks about protecting/encouraging the "small inventor". And what's peanuts to a billion dollar company would be quite a lot to the "small inventor".

Who decides who wins? Perhaps there could be two award categories for all the many different prizes in different fields. One would be decided by "The Public", the other would be by "Experts in the Field". So even if your invention doesn't please some snob, it might please the public and so you can still win one of the prizes.

[1] Another example is Douglas Engelbart and his team.

Re:Sounds Like an Argument for Patents (1)

mdarksbane (587589) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122886)

I think many fewer people are anti-patent than are anti -"Stupid obvious overbroad software" patent or anti-"add useless stuff to a medicine so you can repatent it " patent.

Also, patents, unlike copyright, still expire, which is the whole point of having them to begin with. The whole concept of patents is to get information in the public domain, so you don't have the problem of, for example, an entire civilization forgetting how to make its best steel.

Re:Sounds Like an Argument for Patents (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33122970)

Not really. This was invented without patents, or at least the patents were no good 60 years ago. This is an argument AGAINST patents, as technology evolves despite it.

Re:Sounds Like an Argument for Patents (1)

bzipitidoo (647217) | more than 3 years ago | (#33123034)

Isn't that an argument for patents, though?

No, it's an argument for encouraging research and sharing. As you point out, the patent system is a recoup mechanism. What you didn't say was that the mechanism has failed us in many ways. The patent system is fundamentally broken, so much so that I think we should try something else. Some software is so poorly written, so flawed, that it is best to start over rather than try to fix it. So it is with the patent system.

We've seen that the patent system lends itself to gaming, abuse, and lengthy and destructive court cases. We burden the civil courts and aggrieved parties with patent disputes in part because enforcement through some sort of policing is utterly impractical. We've seen that it has big problems in clarity, ease of use, application. We have "defensive patenting", "patent trolls", "submarine patents", and other arcana. We've caused the emergence of an expensive "intellectual property industrial complex" if you will, in the form of specialized lawyers and businesses, and government revenue collectors who all have a vested interest in growing the system, making it even more broad and complicated. For instance, consider that there is a debate over whether DNA should be patentable. And most of all we've seen that it too often works against its purpose, that it and copyright law have frequently been used as clubs to squelch innovation which might compete with someone's precious monopoly, or hinder research which could reveal flaws. White hats should not have to fear imprisonment. Chilling effects.

The GP's statements could as easily be taken as an argument against patents.

It sounds like the glass could have made automobiles lighter and safer. Why wasn't it used? The article mentions that other ways were cheaper-- cheaper for the manufacturer, not necessarily for the consumer. Is it the patent system that made this superior glass too expensive? Were the other ways cheaper in part because patents on them had expired?

mod parent up (1)

Kurast (1662819) | more than 3 years ago | (#33121962)

60 year old glass? Most enterprises can't even think past the next couple quarters or to the next FY, much less this far. Almost any other company would have long since chucked the manufacturing process for it because it wasn't immediately profitable.

Alos Ground-breaking achievments sometimes are from misguided R&D, like post-it, or many medicines that were created poisonous bacteria and plantae.

Re:mod parent up (1)

Schadrach (1042952) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122504)

You make it sound like many of us consume large amounts of a failed attempt at an ulcer drug because it tastes sweet. Damned aspartame.

Re:Why can't more companies be like Corning? (1)

RivenAleem (1590553) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122000)

But if this technology is now 60 years old, one would assume it is out of patent. How long before (if not already) every manufacturer is capable of making it? If it becomes profitable, then Pyrex and Co will be shipping it out at lower cost than Corning.

Re:Why can't more companies be like Corning? (4, Informative)

arth1 (260657) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122084)

But if this technology is now 60 years old, one would assume it is out of patent. How long before (if not already) every manufacturer is capable of making it? If it becomes profitable, then Pyrex and Co will be shipping it out at lower cost than Corning.

Er, Pyrex is a Corning brand...

Re:Why can't more companies be like Corning? (1)

RivenAleem (1590553) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122620)

My Bad :( But surely there are other glass companies out there who'll try to swipe up this tech if it's profitable?

My question, I suppose, is what are the rules on patenting a process like this? If you have Coke and Pepsi, how different do the 2 products have to be? Can one completely copy the other (special secret recipes aside)? It shouldn't be too hard for an industrious material scientist to figure out the process and duplicate it.

Do Corning have to worry about a competitor making gorilla glass?

Re:Why can't more companies be like Corning? (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122194)

This was developed 60 years ago. I don't know but would expect that if you were pitching a project to Dow management today you'd need a faster time to market.

it's not rare, but above average (1)

pigwiggle (882643) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122686)

http://www.boozallen.com/media/file/151786.pdf [boozallen.com]

Quite a few spend more, quite a few spend less. The average is ~5%. Given the ambiguous return it's not altogether surprising some skimp.

Re:Why can't more companies be like Corning? (1)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122838)

why spend money on R&D that may not pay off? what's the difference between that and spending the cash on a start up with an interesting product with an ROI? a lot of R&D has been transferred to the universities in the last 10 years where they license it out to the corporations.

there is no good reason why corporations should do R&D rather than universities. corporate R&D projects will be managed by the same MBA's who can't seem to find anything innovative, while a few guys in a garage are always the ones coming up with the cool new stuff.

look at MS and Apple. Microsoft has a lot corporate R&D projects that sometimes take years. and a lot of times the end result is convoluted and poorly implemented even if the idea is cool. Apple takes existing tech and packages it in a way that people want

So.. (1)

Buddy027 (1850014) | more than 3 years ago | (#33121810)

Now when they ship it poorly the corners of my TV will shatter?

Re:So.. (1)

MiniMike (234881) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122448)

No, next week they will announce a 59-year-old shipping technology to take care of that.

Re:So.. (1)

dotfile (536191) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122736)

Excelsior! [wikipedia.org]

Phrasing (2, Interesting)

dimethylxanthine (946092) | more than 3 years ago | (#33121830)

Gorilla is two to three times stronger than chemically strengthened versions of ordinary soda-lime glass, even when just half as thick

Why not just say "four to six times stronger" while assuming the same thickness?... This information is considerably more apparent and easier to assimilate that way.

Re:Phrasing (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33121854)

Why not just say "four to six times stronger" while assuming the same thickness?

Maybe it's strength doesn't scale linearly with thickness, and thus it wouldn't be a true statement?

Re:Phrasing (2, Insightful)

MiniMike (234881) | more than 3 years ago | (#33121984)

That's the reporters' interpretation. I'm guessing the original statement from the scientists was more like "The glass is two to three times stronger, so we can make it half as thick." I would be surprised if the scientists said "it's 4-6 times stronger at the same thickness" and the reporter did the math to get to 2-3 times stronger at half the thickness.

Ha! So apple DOES use it (3, Funny)

mary_will_grow (466638) | more than 3 years ago | (#33121926)

("Whether Apple Inc. uses the glass in its iPod is a much-discussed mystery since 'not all our customers allow us to say,' said [the] general manager of Corning's specialty materials division.")

Does Apple use the glass? I can't tell you. Because when they started using it they told us we couldn't tell anyone.

muahahah

Re:Ha! So apple DOES use it (4, Funny)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 3 years ago | (#33121970)

They definitely didn't use it for the iPod nanos!

Re:Ha! So apple DOES use it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33122612)

Why would you even buy an iPod?

Re:Ha! So apple DOES use it (1)

Squib (124309) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122762)

Or on the iPhone4 back glass, apparently: http://yfrog.com/mtg8pj [yfrog.com]

Re:Ha! So apple DOES use it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33121986)

Judging by the number of broken ipod touch and iphones screens I've seen, it's probably a case of they didn't on the early models but do now.

Re:Ha! So apple DOES use it (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122624)

I dunno, it could be anything that's 40 times stronger than plastic, or in lay units, about 41 times more scratch-resistant than warm butter.

so you outsource everything except the IP (0)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#33121952)

and the guys making stuff with your IP use their profits to create the next wave of IP. so they don't need your IP anymore, they don't need your management, they don't need your technical knowhow. in fact, you have no factories or factory workers left, so you really don't have any more technical knowhow, you've outsourced absolutely everything

so instead, you, or your kids, are waiting tables at the cowboy theme restaurant for the asian tourists

and some people wonder what the problem with unregulated capitalism is, and why there is any need for pesky "socialist" government policies, like investing in education

Scotty, Anyone? (3, Funny)

durnurd (967847) | more than 3 years ago | (#33121980)

How has nobody commented on the transparent-aluminum-like properties of this so-called "glass"?

Re:Scotty, Anyone? (2, Informative)

Speare (84249) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122128)

How has nobody commented on the transparent-aluminum-like properties of this so-called "glass"?

If you really wanted to polish your geek cred, you'd know that transparent aluminum exists, not just on Star Trek. Read the 2009 Science Daily article. [sciencedaily.com] But when I saw this, I thought of the Harrison Ford version of the movie, "Sabrina." As a CEO, in one scene he demonstrates a tough new material to some Japanese investors by taking a crowbar to the front of a large flat panel television.

Re:Scotty, Anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33122214)

Because it already exists [wikipedia.org] and isn't funny anymore?

If it was invented in 1962 patents havexpired (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#33121982)

If it was invented in 1962 the patents will have expired. What's to stop the Chinese just making their own "PandaGlass" or whatever?

Re:If it was invented in 1962 patents havexpired (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122020)

If it was invented in 1962 the patents will have expired. What's to stop the Chinese just making their own "PandaGlass" or whatever?

Pandas aren't strong like gorillas. They're cute and cuddly. Who wants to cuddle with a chunk of glass?

Re:If it was invented in 1962 patents havexpired (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33122656)

Who wants to cuddle with a chunk of glass?

Women [google.com] .(slightly NSFW)

I see a Corning product, Pyrex. I wonder if they might use some of this Gorilla glass. Hate to have something break off or splinter while "cuddling".

Re:If it was invented in 1962 patents havexpired (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33122036)

Since when do they care about waiting for patents to expire?

Re:If it was invented in 1962 patents havexpired (1)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122634)

the original patents may have expired but i bet the current product is slightly modified and has new patents to protect it. sure you can make it as Corning made it in 1962 but i bet it won't look as good or have the same properties as the current product

Re:If it was invented in 1962 patents havexpired (1)

makomk (752139) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122764)

Absolutely nothing. Supposedly, the glass in the new iPhone is made by a Chinese company that's done just that...

Re:If it was invented in 1962 patents havexpired (3, Informative)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 3 years ago | (#33123032)

That age-old technology known as "trade secrets", which protected artisans for thousands of years before IP came into existence.

Of course, there is a downside: it means no one but Corning knows the process for creating this stuff, and so no one can improve upon it, apply the same techniques to related fields, etc.

Re:If it was invented in 1962 patents havexpired (1)

soupforare (542403) | more than 3 years ago | (#33123112)

I'm sure PandaGlass will work as well as all those PandaCaps [wikipedia.org] .

wait... what? (4, Funny)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122012)

since when is 1962 in the 50s? rounding error?

Re:wait... what? (2, Informative)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122366)

since when is 1962 in the 50s? rounding error?

Drugs. Everything from 1959 to to 1970 was lost in a purple haze.

Re:wait... what? (2, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122394)

'scuse me while I kiss this guy

Re:wait... what? (1)

dimethylxanthine (946092) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122726)

I think you'll find it's still very much the case today.

Re:wait... what? (1)

need4mospd (1146215) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122424)

They were using metric years?

gorilla glass? (1)

loki_tiwaz (982852) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122148)

of course all you nerds wouldn't have heard of this http://www.getgorilla.com/ [getgorilla.com] it's just (usually) coloured pyrex glass for body piercing jewellery, mostly earlobes.

The new or old Corning glass? (2, Interesting)

Marriedman (1269406) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122182)

They stopped making the original Corning glass/ceramics because people wouldn't buy new often enough. Buy it once and keep it forever. So they released a new and more fragile product. Will this be the same story?

Re:The new or old Corning glass? (1)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122846)

Thank-you!

I've been trying to work out why this story was bugging me so much. Works like this...

Why do people dispose of laptops and cell phones, etc.? Because the screen breaks? Or because the technology ages, the batteries stop holding a charge, scratches and finger prints show up, all of which, while not preventing the actual chips and hardware from working as designed, nonetheless cause a perception of the device as having worn out?

Basically, to make the next generation of desirable products, (thinner, prettier computers), you need strong glass, but those devices will stop being in vogue within the same product cycle time-frame regardless of how indestructible the glass is. So there's no harm in marketing gorilla glass to the world.

It probably won't be used in products which might threaten to become, as you say, "Buy it once, keep it forever".

Ah. There we go! My cynical circuit has been satisfied. Now I can get on with my day.

-FL

Re:The new or old Corning glass? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122950)

"Or because the technology ages, the batteries stop holding a charge, scratches and finger prints show up, all of which, while not preventing the actual chips and hardware from working as designed, nonetheless cause a perception of the device as having worn out?"
True but people tend to keep TVs for a good long while.
Notebooks get slow but TVs can be good for decades.

Transparent Aluminum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33122254)

Come on guys.... where are all the transparent aluminum jokes?

well apple obviously uses it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33122298)

apple obviously uses it, because they say "we created this glass specificly...blah blah..." meaning, they bought up the rights or are having someone manufacture something thats been around a while, and if corning wont say, that means apple probably has a deal

1962 was not 60 years ago. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33122324)

By my calculations, 1962 happened about 48 years ago, but I could be wrong.

Gorilla Glass worth $170M/yr, huh? (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122400)

What is now being called "Gorilla Glass" is currently worth $170M/yr.

What is this supposed to mean? If I have a piece of it, it's worth $170M per year? What, does money grow on it, or do I have to rent it to someone, huh?

Gorilla is two to three times stronger... (1)

JPMallory (1318445) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122476)

...yet I still managed to crack the screen on my droid.

Re:Gorilla is two to three times stronger... (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122672)

Congratulations, you are now stronger than a gorilla. Either that or they need to change the name to "pretty strong glass" or something like that.

Invented in 1962. Surely the patent has expired? (1)

maillemaker (924053) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122488)

The article says it was invented in 1962. Surely the patent has expired by now?

Ad? (1)

drumcat (1659893) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122906)

Slashdot, when you said "turn off ads," I didn't think you were prankin' me...

Christian Science Monitor (2, Funny)

quatin (1589389) | more than 3 years ago | (#33122912)

Maybe it's just their name, but anytime I see the "Christian Science Monitor" publish anything relating to science, I have to find a second source to verify they're not making it up.

Index, anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33123204)

Of refraction, that is. Wow did we have fun measuring the purities and indices of everything Corning and all-of-Germany could produce. And any optic material, from anywhere. In the '80's our materials science moved off-shore. What do we make now?
Must add: Don't trust any measurement in vacuo unless through diamond windows. Bought two 1cm x 2mm (D x t) and could barely melt them, except with that pulsed ruby. Sapphire is next best, but lacks extended IR.
Watch for brittleness.

Strong=good, how about antiglare though? (1)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 3 years ago | (#33123292)

Strong thin glass is nice. But so is anti-reflective glass. Apparently, some CRTs are better in this way than almost all LCDs:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathode_ray_tube#Superior_Anti-Glare_coatings [wikipedia.org]

You'd honestly think there'd be more of a market for antiglare coats.

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