Gorilla Glass 3 promises 40 per cent fewer scratches

The toughened glass used in many smartphones and tablets is about to get tougher

Corning has developed a new version of its Gorilla Glass for smartphones and tablets that it says will result in 40 per cent fewer scratches and appear in devices later this year.

Corning makes the glass used in devices from Apple, Samsung and other top-tier vendors. It introduced Gorilla Glass 2 at the International CES in Las Vegas last year, and it's back again in 2013 with another update.

It's virtually impossibly to make glass completely scratch-proof, but Gorilla Glass 3 can stand three times as much force before it develops the kind of deep scratches, or trenches, that are visible to the eye, said David Velasquez, Corning's director of marketing for Gorilla Glass.

That extra strength should result in 40 percent fewer scratches, he said. And if the glass cracks, it retains more of its strength than it did previously, meaning it's less likely to shatter if it gets another knock. Corning delivered samples of the new glass last year and it will be in volume production in the next few months.

Most people think of keys in the pocket as a screen's worst enemy, but scratches are more likely to come from particles of sand and grit, like when a phone is placed on a tabletop, Velasquez said. His advice to avoid scratches is to use a proper cleaning cloth and not press too hard when polishing.

Corning's glass is strengthened through a chemical process it calls ion exchange, which creates a toughened outer layer on the glass substrate. Each refinement to that process yields smaller and smaller improvements. Velasquez wouldn't say when Corning will need to move to another process entirely, but he said the company's roadmap is "very strong."

Corning has also figured out how to make its glass curved, and it expects some smartphone and tablet makers to introduce devices with curved screens this year. It's not clear how useful that will be but, "it looks cool," according to Velasquez.

It's also partnered with another company, Atmel, which developed a touch-screen technology that's thin and flexible enough that it can be overlaid on the curved screens. That means devices could have touch controls on their outer edges, for example, in place of buttons. Atmel won a CES Innovations award for the technology.

It's not clear that people want curved tablets, though. Jim Turley, an industry analyst and editor of Electronic Engineering Journal, said it might be a hassle when it comes to storing them in a case or a bag. "It could be more trouble than its worth," he said.

But at least one vendor apparently thinks it's a good idea. A big maker of smartphones and tablets will announce a curved device at CES Monday that uses Atmel's touch-screen technology, according to Sander Arts, Atmel's vice president of marketing, though he wouldn't say who it is ahead of the announcement.

Corning and Atmel both expect to see glass touch-screens coming to more products in future, such as automobile consoles and appliances such as refrigerators and coffee machines. Glass screens look nicer and are easier to clean, they argue.

"Touch is going everywhere, and where touch goes, glass will follow," Velasquez said.

James Niccolai covers data centers and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow James on Twitter at @jniccolai. James's e-mail address is james_niccolai@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags smartphonesconsumer electronicsCESComponentsCorning

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

James Niccolai

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?