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Thinfilm Ready to Lead Next Phase of Printed Electronics

Wed, 12/05/2012 - 5:19pm
Thin Film Electronics

Thin Film Electronics ASA ("Thinfilm") now has completed the entire process chain for high-volume, real-world deployments as demonstrated at Printed Electronics USA this week.

“Printed electronics is poised to become a multi-billion dollar business, but printing functional components is only the first step,” said Davor Sutija, CEO, Thinfilm. "Our customers need a complete, high-volume, scalable supply chain producing robust products, and that is now in place."

During the show, the company will distribute thousands of Thinfilm Memory Cards, as part of an info-kiosk demonstration. The cards were produced using Thinfilm’s end-to-end printed electronics production infrastructure and showcase the importance of recent milestones announced by Thinfilm.

  • High-volume, roll-to-roll memory printing at Inktec using Thinfilm's the patent-pending dual-layer protection announced earlier this year. 
  • Roll-to-roll testing equipment uniquely capable of millions of measurements a month and shown publicly for the first time at PE USA.
  • Die-cutting and label conversion of the printed memory roll at Topflight, producing spools of labels that are fully compatible with industry-standard equipment for label application.
  • Automated application of memory labels to branded cards for shipment direct to customer

"We are extremely proud of the devices we have coming out of this process. During testing, we have stomped on them, cut them, and doused them in water, and they continue to work," explained Christer Karlsson, Thinfilm CTO. He adds, "Equally as important, this delivery chain includes many of the processes we will need for delivering Smart Tags that incorporate additional functionalities such as logic, sensing, display and RF communication.

“Thinfilm’s announcement of high volume production of memory cards is the latest validation point for the commercialization of printed electronic devices,” said Michael Palma, research manager for Electronic Manufacturing Services at IDC.  “Printed electronics will have a significant impact on how we interact with the physical world by providing extremely low cost devices in high quantities that can capture, store, and provide data to local and remote users and systems.”

Also announced today is the availability of a new error-correction code that allows the memory to continue working even in the presence of physical damage, such as punctured or missing memory cells. Thinfilm printed memory cards are commercially available for numerous applications, such as info-kiosks, stored value, and gaming cards, and more.

Thinfilm’s printed electronic technology has been singled out for praise from a variety of sources. Most recently Thinfilm won the World Technology Award for materials and was named a runner-up for the Innovation Award for Semiconductors by The Wall Street Journal. This recognition follows important printed electronics industry awards earlier this year from both the FlexTech Alliance and IDTechEx. Thinfilm was also recently recognized by GigaOm as one of the 15 Most Innovative Companies in mobile.

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