Thinfilm, PARC Extend PE Commercialization Engagement


Posted on April 4, 2011 @ 05:11 pm



Thin Film Electronics ASA (Thinfilm) and PARC, a Xerox company, announced that they have entered the next phase of their co-innovation engagement.

PARC and Thinfilm’s collaboration on next-generation printed memory solutions kicked off last year with joint design of Thinfilm 128-bit Addressable Memory, which combines Thinfilm’s unique non-volatile memory technology with PARC’s printed CMOS transistor technology. Given the success of the initial design phase, this next phase extends the engagement to prototyping the product for manufacturing readiness.

The engagement allows both companies to achieve together what neither could do alone. Thinfilm will use the PARC CMOS technology to expand the memory technology that it has previously commercialized in a roll-to-roll printed production process to an addressable version that is still fully printed. Products with Thinfilm addressable memory will be a key avenue for PARC to commercialize its technology.

“Our mutual goal is to reach the printed addressable memory prototype by the end of this year. Key work is already being done at PARC, working closely with Thinfilm’s engineers,” said Dr. Ross Bringans, vice president of PARC’s Electronic Materials and Devices research. “Thinfilm will utilize PARC background IP for the printed memory application.”

Such memory enables unique form factors, cost advantages, and integration with other printed components including sensors and simple displays that can be customized for multiple markets -- ranging from games and toys, to ID tags, disposable sensors, and price labels. Ana Arias, head of Thinfilm’s Technology Council, U.C. Berkeley associate professor in EECS, commented: “Indeed, memory is a key component of most electronics devices. By working together, PARC and Thinfilm are essentially helping the printed electronics industry move beyond components and devices, to full-featured printed electronic systems.”

“The engagement is progressing well. We expect to transfer the contact-based 128-bit memory array to production in 2012. This addressable memory meets the need for creating ubiquitous low-cost tags and disposable printed systems,” Davor Sutija, Thinfilm CEO, said.

“PARC has been an innovation leader for many years in printed and novel electronics for a variety of applications. We are excited to be working with Thinfilm because we believe their new direction in addressable memory helps make a variety of consumer-facing applications possible," Steve Hoover, CEO of PARC said. "Through a partnership such as this one, users of printed electronics can now realize the applications that are important to their future market success."

The companies will be participating in the Printed Electronics Europe conference taking place today and tomorrow in Dusseldorf, Germany.

At the conference PARC will be exhibiting at booth D128 and Bringans will be delivering a talk on PARC’s strategic focus for printed electronics. He will describe how pieces of the ecosystem such as materials, devices, and manufacturing are coming together, so that companies now have a network of partnerships to help them move from printed electronics concept to commercialization.

At the conference Thinfilm will be exhibiting at booth D125 and Sutija will be delivering a talk on Thinfilm’s application roadmap that has moved beyond stand-alone memories to include integrated systems. He will also describe how Thinfilm has transformed itself into a product company, with the release of its Memory Controller, Toy Development Kit, and the technology demonstrator game OBA.

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