Several leading-edge semiconductor companies like IBM, STMicro, Leti, Imec, Kaist and Kovio have developed flexible and organic electronics that would eventually make everything from our clothes to cereal boxes to serve as personal computers and communication systems.
It was formerly noticed that semiconductor manufacturers were more inclined towards processing smaller atom-sized chips while neglecting the significant advances made in higher nodes, particularly in plastics and organic electronics.
Renewed interests in existing semiconductor intellectual-property (IP) designs have led to the creation of vialbe commercial products from flexible and organic materials.
Researchers from IBM recently demonstrated a thin-film-like flexible circuit that resembling a “yogurt lid”, using a silicon-on-insulator (SOI) -based plastic substrate containing not less than 10,000 transistors. IBM acknowledged the expertse of ST and LETI for jointly developing this new, low-cost technique.
Other companies like IMEC have come about with Microwatt Applications capable of printing low-power, low-performance microprocessors onto organic materials, paving the way for a cost-effective alternative to traditional silicon wafers.
Similarly, researchers recently demonstrated a flat “stretchy” battery that can be pulled to three times its size without affecting its performance. Kovio’s near-field communications (NFC) wireless tag could eventually substitute more expensive IC’s on silicon wafers. Researchers from KAIST have developed a fully functional, flexible, non-volatile, resistive random-access memory (RRAM) agaub trendifying extremely low-power, low-performance memory applications in the emerging market of flexible plastic electronics.