Upcoming Printed Electronics USA 09 Offers Insight Into PE’s Present and Future

By David Savastano

The field of printed electronics (PE) is enjoying excellent growth, as technological advances combined with a wide range of new applications continue to drive gains in the marketplace. A clear sign of PE’s opportunities can be seen as more major international consumer corporations, including Procter & Gamble, Adidas and Kimberly-Clark, examine how PE can benefit their products.

With that in mind, IDTechEx is hosting Printed Electronics USA 09, co-located with Photovoltaics USA 09, Dec. 1-4 at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, CA. The conference features presentations by executives from these companies, as well as from Boeing, IBM, Canadian Bank Note, Cubic Corporation and Mills-Peninsula Health Services.

The show will be the largest PE event ever held in the U.S., with more than 750 attendees pre-registered two weeks in advance. By contrast, Printed Electronics USA 08 and Printed Electronics Europe 09 each had approximately 700 attendees.

“It’s a really nice increase in attendance,” said Raghu Das, CEO of IDTechEx. “It speaks to the potential of the market, especially in a year when shows are declining in attendance. We also see that there are a lot of new companies coming to this year’s program.

“One pleasant surprise is how international the show will be,” Das added. “We already have attendees coming from 26 countries, which shows how Printed Electronics USA is an international platform.”

The conference should be a strong mix of end-users, manufacturers, raw material and equipment suppliers and universities, covering the gamut of printed electronics applications from photovoltaics and printed transistors to printed batteries, textiles and displays.

Das said that the importance of hearing the perspective of end-users is one key benefit of Printed Electronics USA 09.

“There are very good components being developed, but it is critical to have end-users discuss what their needs are so that the right products can be developed,” Das said. “Generally speaking, they want lightweight, flexible and environmentally friendly products that don’t necessarily have to have a long life span. We have a whole day planned for end-users from a wide range of industries to discuss their specific requirements.”

There will also be plenty of leading PE companies on hand, including PolyIC, Kovio, Plextronics, Solarmer Energy, Blue Spark Technologies, Soligie and many others.

All told, more than 100 speakers and 60 exhibitors will be on hand to showcase the latest developments from PE, as well as to examine some of the challenges facing PE’s adoption in mainstream applications.
Das said that the idea of co-locating Photovoltaics USA 09 came after IDTechEx noticed that its 2008 conferences featured many of the same attendees and exhibitors.

“There is so much overlap with the attendees and exhibitors, and we decided to co-locate the two shows,” Das said.

Transparent and stretchable electronics, eReaders and carbon-based transistors are also key areas of interest, and RFID will also be a topic of discussion. “At first, printed electronics made gains due to lower costs, but now we see form factor as a key driver,” Das said. “There will be some interesting talks on stretchable electronics, notably by MC10, as well as transparent electronics and eReaders, and on the materials side, the potential of carbon nanotubes and graphene.

“We also have a few lectures on RFID,” Das added. “Kovio has already started some production of its printed silicon RFID systems. PolyIC is developing its organic semiconductor-based RFID tags, and InkSure is printing conductive patterns.”

Conference Details and Day One

The conference begins Wednesday, Dec. 2 with a series of keynote talks highlighting where printed electronics is heading.

Das will start the session with an examination of “Printed Electronics Products: Who Wants What, When, Why and How Much,” a look at opportunities, trends and potential for profitability.

Das will be followed by presentations from Dr. Kenneth McGuire, principal scientist at Procter & Gamble, USA, who will discuss consumer electronics applications; Dr. Markus Strecker, Adidas, USA’s wearable sports electronics engineering director, who will examine smart fabrics; and Dr. David Klonoff, medical director, Diabetes Research Institute, Mills-Peninsula Health Services, who will look at the potential for diabetes applications.

Dr. Joseph Paradiso, associate professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will follow Dr. Klonoff’s discussion with a talk on wearable sensors. Dr. Devanand Shenoy, program manager for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), will discuss PE and what it may provide for DARPA.

The final two keynote talks feature Dr. Omkaram Nalamasu, vice president of Applied Materials, and Amir Mashkoori, CEO of Kovio, Inc., a leader in printed silicon.

The afternoon session features three concurrent tracks. The first covers presentations by end-users, including speakers from Kimberly-Clark, Canadian Bank Note Company, Pricer AB and Cubic Corporation. Track 1 also features “Radical New Products,” showcasing work done by Milone Technologies, T-Ink and InkSure Technologies.

Track 2 examines three topics: Printing Silicon Circuits, the Explosive E-Reader Market and Paper Electronics. Among the companies scheduled to speak are Semprius
University of Cape Town, Plastic Logic, E Ink Corporation, SiPix Imaging Inc., Astak and Uni of Lisbon Faculdade de Ciencias e Tecnologia.

Track 3 is focused on photovoltaics (PV). Organic and Composite Photovoltaics offers speakers from Intel, University of South Florida, G24 Innovations, Solarmer Energy and Organic Spintronics s.r.l. Manufacturing the New Photovoltaics includes talks by Optomec and OTB USA Inc.

Day Two

The schedule for Thursday, Dec. 3, is equally ambitious, featuring four concurrent tracks.

Track 1 begins with Zinc Oxide Transistors Become Popular, with talks slated by Samsung, Inpria, the U.S. Air Force, Merck KGaA, Cambridge University and Hewlett-Packard.

Xerox Research Centre of Canada, H.C. Starck, Agfa Materials and Polyera Corporation will focus on New Developments with Organics.

Metamaterials & Memristors will be discussed by Fractal Antenna Systems, NIST and the University of St Andrews. Track 1 concludes with the Future of Printed Electronics, featuring Florida State University, Ricoh and IDTechEx.

Displays dominate the morning session of Track 2, with talks scheduled by QD Vision, Princeton University, Kent Displays, AJJER, Add-Vision, Plextronics and Rogers Corporation. Carbon Nanotubes & Graphene, the afternoon topic, includes presentations by UCLA, Vorbeck Materials, Stanford University, Nantero, Canatu Oy and NanoIntegris.

Track 3 begins with market analysis by IDTechEx and Navigant Consulting. Boeing Spectrolab will lad off with a discussion on PV High Efficiency. Inorganic PV will be the key area of discussion, with speakers from IBM, the University of California, Solar Systems & Equipment S.R.L., centrotherm photovoltaics AG, Solexant, National Photovoltaics Initiatives and the Oregon Business Development Department lending their perspective to attendees.

Track 3 also includes innovative areas such as Printed Power, including The Paper Battery Company, Blue Spark Technologies and Novalia, and Stretchable Electronics, including talks by the University of Illinois and MC10.

Track 4 begins its session with Producing Integrated Components, featuring PolyIC GmbH & Co KG, Soligie and GSI Technologies. Manufacturing is the next area for focus, with talks by NovaCentrix, NanoMas Technologies and Hitachi Chemical.

Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), Asahi Kasei Chemicals Corporation, GE Global Research Center, the University of Michigan, PixDro b.v. and Nano ePrint Ltd. follow with talks on Printing Electronics: What You Need to Know.

For more information on Printed Electronics USA 09 and Photovoltaics USA 09, please contact IDTechEx at www.idtechex.com/sanjose or call +1 617 577-7890.