Akhan Semiconductor has pushed back the release of its Mirage Diamond Glass, saying that it is actively testing the compound and that the first consumer devices sporting the improved diamond layer are slated to be made available in 2019. The diamond glass surface was first talked about in early 2017 when Akhan CEO Adam Khan said that it would be in consumer devices by the end of 2017. Though there's been a delay, the firm's overall plans haven't changed since then. The company is still only working with one vendor per category at the moment, and may expand outward in the future. For now, one phone maker, one tablet maker, one wearable maker, and one aftermarket screen protector manufacturer are involved in the testing alongside Akhan to get Mirage Diamond Glass optimized and into consumers' hands, but no names have been revealed just yet.
Akhan grows diamonds in a lab as cheaply and efficiently as possible for use in electronics. The company's main focus thus far has been working on diamond semiconductors as a replacement for silicon that can help to facilitate the creation of smaller, faster electronic devices, but the super-hard material could also be eminently useful in display technology. For now, according to Khan, testing is primarily focused on optimization; partners are ensuring that the diamond displays can conduct electricity properly, working to reduce glare, and ensuring maximum clarity and the best possible bond with other substrates present in device displays for applicable partners. When the products do launch, prospective buyers can expect a slim selection and high prices in return for unmatched durability and nearly bare-glass quality and design.
This latest entrant in the race to create tough, beautiful smartphones holds a lot of promise relative to the options that are currently on the market. Motorola's Shatterproof technology utilizes a plastic top layer, and has not only spread beyond the company's own devices but has somewhat fallen flat lately; while the flagship Moto Z2 Force has indeed proven tough and sleek, its plastic top layer scratches relatively easily. Sapphire screens, meanwhile, improved upon Corning's Gorilla Glass in various ways but never really caught on, having only been commercialized by a few devices to date.