Thinfilm's Printable CMOS Circuits Leading To An "Internet Of Things"

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News Posted: Fri, Oct 21 2011 4:07 AM
Ready to get nerdy? Thinfilm, together with PARC, has just announced that they have produced a working prototype of the world's first printed non-volatile memory device with complementary organic circuits, the organic equivalent of CMOS circuitry. The new Thinfilm Addressable Memory consists of Thinfilm's printed memory and PARC's transistors. This demonstration is a significant milestone toward the mass production of low-cost, low-power ubiquitous devices that are a key component of the "Internet of things." That's right, they said the "Internet of things."

That's further described as a situation where "everything is connected to a smart tag." Thinfilm Addressable Memory consists of Thinfilm's printed memory and PARC's transistors. This demonstration is a significant milestone toward the mass production of low-cost, low-power ubiquitous devices that are a key component of the "Internet of things." The prototype will be publicly demonstrated at PARC on Monday, October 24, in conjunction with a visit from the Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry, His Excellency Trond Giske.


System products are integrated systems that combine Thinfilm's memory technology with other printed components. The target markets for Thinfilm Addressable Memory system products include NFC (Near Field Communications) tags, now available in Android phones, which enable device to device communication and have been predicted to, one day, be on all new objects. Thinfilm also targets sensor tags and disposable price labels. The addressable memory can be integrated with other printed components, such as antennas and sensors, to create fully printed systems for interaction with everyday objects and the "Internet of things" where the temperature of food and drugs are monitored or retail items are tracked individually rather than by pallet, container or truckload with a simple tap of a NFC enabled phone. Using printing to manufacture electronics minimizes the number of process steps, which in turn, dramatically reduces manufacturing costs and lowers the environmental impact compared to traditional semiconductor processes. Thinfilm devices are thinner than traditional silicon devices and can be produced in form factors as slim as a strand of hair.

The smaller electronics get, the better the performance from the things that we carry in our pockets. And in turn, more smiles for everyone, right?
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Awesome stuff. Plus if the film is organic I would think that this means it will break down over time. Unlike having billions of RFID tags that degrade very slowly.

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gazd1 replied on Fri, Oct 21 2011 9:57 AM

As long as it lasts the life time of your electronic products, then that is okay. If it breaks down within the life time of your electronic product, then you'd be thinking of not wanting anything of that sort at all. Also it is good that Apple can't patent this at all. If they can, than they must have some kind of helping hand in the legal system through cash inducements & the like. Anyway I believe that this is a good idea as long as it lasts the products life time.

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gloriad1 replied on Fri, Oct 21 2011 10:02 AM

Your sure right there "gazd1" as long as it lasts the life of your electronics product, than we'll be happy. I wonder though if this will catch on. This new idea has to be cheap enough for those manufacturing firms to buy or else, they'll stay with the old circuit board types.

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RTietjens replied on Sun, Oct 23 2011 12:49 PM

More smiles for everyone, but also more hazards. Remember, there is no technology that will not be abused and perverted for evil purposes. I have already though to several ways this technology can be (read: will be) abused by oppressive governments, like Syria, Argentina, Apple, and the CIA.

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