Printed non-volatile memory chip debuts

October 21, 2011 – BUSINESS WIRE — Thin Film Electronics ASA (Thinfilm) and PARC, a Xerox company, created a working prototype printed non-volatile memory (NVM) device with complementary organic circuits.

Thinfilm Addressable Memory comprises printed polymer-based memory from Thinfilm and transistors from PARC that use complementary pairs of n- and p-type transistors like traditional CMOS chips.The addition of the integrated circuits makes the roll-to-roll (R2R) printed Thinfilm Memory addressable by printable logic. The prototype is a step toward mass-produced, low-cost, low-power ubiquitous printed electronic devices, the companies state.

The working prototype demonstrates rewritable memory and supports integration with sensors and other electronic components. The manufacturing process, using high-volume R2R printing, is reportedly environmentally friendly.

Thinfilm "can deliver a scalable, commercially viable version" of printed memory, noted Ross Bringans, VP, PARC Electronic Materials and Devices Laboratory. PARC specializes in designing full-featured systems for clients’ applications. Systems incorporating Thinfilm’s unique non-volatile ferroelectric polymer memory technology will see negligible power consumption by the devices, which do not require connection to external power to retain information.

"Addressable memory can be combined with sensors, power sources and antennas to power smart applications," said Davor Sutija, Thinfilm CEO. 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.

The development of the Thinfilm Addressable Memory was partially funded by an industrial development grant from Innovation Norway.

Thin Film Electronics ASA provides fully-printed non-volatile, rewritable memory for applications in toys & games, logistics, sensor, and ID systems. Learn more at http://www.thinfilm.se.

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