The 159-year-old glass pioneer is ramping up production of what it calls Gorilla glass, expecting it to be the hot new face of touch-screen tablets and high-end TVs.
Gorilla showed early promise in the '60s, but failed to find a commercial use, so it's been biding its time in a hilltop research lab for almost a half-century. It picked up its first customer in 2008 and has quickly become a $170 million a year business as a protective layer over the screens of 40 million-plus cell phones and other mobile devices.
Now, the latest trend in TVs could catapult it to a billion-dollar business: Frameless flat-screens that could be mistaken for chic glass artwork on a living-room wall.
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.