MUNICH, Germany At the Organic Electronics Conference (OEC-2007) presently held in Frankfurt, PolyIC has unveiled two organic "chips" manufactured in an industrial roll-to-roll printing process.
On the industry meeting, the company shows two organic chips: One incorporates an RFID chip dubbed PolyID; it is equipped with an integrated 4-bit memory. The other one, PolyLogo, is a display device that is activated when it enters an RF field. The transistors the chips are consisting of have feature sizes smaller than 20 microns, said PolyIC product marketing manager Bettina Bergbauer.
The manufacturing process requires several steps that involve flexo and offset roll-to-roll printing, Bergbauer explained. In these production processes, yield hitherto was the major roadblock. Bergbauer declined to elaborate on yield, saying only that it is good enough to produce the several hundreds of sample chips the company had brought to the exhibition.
The PolyID printed RFID tag with its tiny memory can be used for control and applications during production processes. For instance, the memory can be updated in each process step so users could monitor the completion of the production. According to Bergbauer, it also can be used as a certificate of authenticity - at least until the first competitor can copy it. "The small memory is not intended to be used in volume applications - it is just a proof of feasibility", said Bergbauer.
The other chip, Polylogo, is a display, measuring about 1 cm. If the device is brought into an electromagnetic field, it displays its content which can be a logo, a symbol or simply a name. It can be used for applications aiming at brand protection or entry control; the entry tickets for the event bear such an electronic logo.
While the devices shown appear rather simple, the next generation will be more sophisticated. According to Bergbauer, PolyIC already succeeded in producing 32-bit and 64-bit devices in the laboratory.
The semiconducting material used in the chips is polythiopene, Bergbauer explained.