Eclipse wireless litetouch keyboard
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Kovio prepares to serially “print” semiconductor chips
“Silicon ink,” designed for printing electronic circuits on flexible substrates, was shown at the Printed Electronics conference in San Francisco this week by Kovio. According to the developer, the material allows you to create thin-film transistors, which are comparable in technical characteristics to polycrystalline silicon transistors, but cost three times less. Their production requires 20 times less materials (both silicon and processing reagents) and four times less energy.
The company claims that the cost of radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, for the production of which it plans to use the new technology, can be reduced from today’s 15 cents to 5 cents apiece by 2021, when Kovio begins serial production.
According to a company spokesman, these are the first fully inkjet silicon transistors.
Kovio technology enables the production of p- and n-type transistors. Now the technical process norms are modest 20 microns, but in laboratory conditions, a 10-micron technical process has already been successfully tested. Recall that Intel started with 10 microns in 1971. Intel’s first microprocessor consisted of approximately 2,000 transistors. The RFID tags mentioned above are made up of less than a thousand transistors.
For the serial production of “printed” semiconductor microcircuits, Kovio builds its own production. Among the advantages of the new technology is the absence of the need for so-called “clean rooms”, which are required for the production of microcircuits from crystalline silicon, and expensive equipment for processing wafers. For comparison – the cost of a factory for “printed” microcircuits is about 10 million. Doll., whereas a traditional factory costs about a billion dollars.
However, the new technology has its limitations. The most important of these is associated with the lower mobility of particles. As a result, in terms of speed or frequency properties, “printed” transistors are inferior to their crystal counterparts. At the same time, according to the company, its “printed” transistors are the fastest among similar developments and fully comply with the requirements of RFID applications, both HF (13.56 MHz) and UHF (900 MHz).
Sources: Kovio, EE Times