LONDON – Printed plastic memory pioneer Thin Film Electronics ASA has announced the development of a passive array nonvolatile printable plastic memory that is describes as being suitable for secure documents.
The passive array architecture separates the memory from the read/write electronics and dispenses with the need for active circuitry within the memory array and memory cell. This makes for easier IC production but more complex systems architecture.
Thin Film (Oslo, Norway) said that 40-bit passive array memories are in test production, and engineering samples will be available later in 2011. A 121-bit memory array is planned for production in 2012 that is being aimed at applications in ticketing and archiving and other applications that can use encryption user-programmed stored identification.
"With higher storage capacity, information can be encoded. This unlocks markets and opens up for new applications, such as secure documents, for our roll-to-roll printed memories," said Davor Sutija, CEO of Thin Film, in a statement.
Thin Film typically works with ferroelectric polythiophene active layers such as PEDOT-PSS. The company, which is headquartered in Norway but has its main R&D center in Linkoping, Sweden, has been pursuing the development of plastic memory for more than a decade. For a time it worked with Intel in a research collaboration.
The company now has a number of lines of development including: 20-bit single-line plastic memories which are embedded in toys and games. And an addressable memory for which prototypes are due in 2011 with the transfer of 128-bit memories to production due in 2012, the company said. This is aimed at ID tags, sensor tags, disposable price labels and other smart labels.
The passive array memory uses the same design rules and can be produced using the same roll-to-roll equipment and processes as the current 20-bit memories in production today, the company said.
We are already trying hard to make our electronics designs RoHS/RICH compliant, to reduce the negative consequence of PCB material dispersal, which has been a global change in our biochemical environment. Given that, does using plastics to produce electronic component still doesn't increase the same concern over material dispersal?
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