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ST to explore fuel cell, plastic electronics markets

Posted: 15 May 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:fuel cells? electronics-on-plastic? high-growth markets?

In a move away from straightforward commoditized silicon manufacturing, STMicroelectronics NV has said it expects to bring samples of micro-fuel cells to market in 2009 and to sample biochemical sensors and electronics-on-plastics in 2008.

The announcement was made by Carmelo Papa, executive VP of the industrial and multisegment sector at ST.

Papa said that MEMS, power MOSFET and advance analog where strong technologies within ST and that they would allow the company to grow strongly in industrial and multisegment applications.

With regard to ST's fuel cells Papa said: "They will fill PDAs, 3G phones and eventually portables like PC laptops." He stressed that ST would even move even faster into biochemical sensors and electronics-on-plastic. "Sensors for industry, in the home, on people, disposable and easy to implement. 2008 is the year we will deliver to the market," Papa told the analysts meeting.

Papa did not indicate how ST would set about manufacturing such devices and subsystems, which do not necessarily rely on conventional wafer fabs. Nor did Papa indicate whether "electronics-on-plastic" indicated conventionally produced silicon circuits attached to flexible plastic substrates or the use of organic semiconductors and innovative means of production.

In general, the conference emphasized steps to move towards markets and technologies that can show higher rates of market growth and superior margins to the silicon markets it currently occupies.

- Peter Clarke
EE Times Europe

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