Thin Film Electronics Paves Path to Connect Trillion Objects in Creating the Internet-of-Everything
Internet-of-Everything means extending the IoT to trillions of low cost and disposable objects like everyday packages (food, drinks, medicines, toiletries, etc), parcels, tickets, cards, etc. This will require extremely cheap and autonomous sensing and identifier nodes at the extreme edge of IoT/ IoE. This requires a combination of technologies which is more scalable, in terms of cost and volumes, than current silicon technology. Imec has been pushing the boundaries of thin-film electronics for more than 10 years by building a completely new platform of flexible circuits, imagers, displays and MEMS devices using the highly scalable TFT technologies from flat panel display industry. Using these technologies, we have already demonstrated the world’s first fully flexible RFID and NFC tags. In this talk, we will present imec’s work in next-generation identifier tags which has the potential to be cheaper than conventional RFID/NFC tags by 60-70%, provide enhanced security to overcome the vulnerabilities of contactless readability of these tags and be invisibly integrated due to their paper-thin form factor. We will also present imec’s groundbreaking work in enabling truly flexible sensing platforms. Imec has developed complex analog and digital circuits on flexible substrates to readout printed sensors, process and communicate data all using flexible circuits based on processes and technologies that are compatible with flat panel display manufacturing fabs. We will also show a few examples of end-user customer-driven projects that imec is working on. This talk will be relevant for companies across the value chain of IoT starting from material companies developing new materials for sensors and TFTs, sensor companies developing application-specific or generic sensing technologies and requiring new circuit technologies, manufacturing and integration companies in flexible-hybrid electronics space, and end-user companies requiring innovative sensing and identifier nodes at the extreme edge of IoT/IoE.