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Terepac, IMEC unite for flexible packaging

Posted: 26 Nov 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:flexible electronics? wireless? packaging technology?

Terepac Corp. and IMEC have announced collaboration on novel packaging technologies for flexible electronics. The initial driver for the research relationship is a wireless electrocardiograph (ECG) system, developed in the Human++ Program at Holst Centre, Eindhoven, The Netherlands.

As electronic systems become ubiquitous, the demand for innovative packaging technologies increases. For applications such as on-the-body devices, thin and flexible form factors are important for improving the comfort of the wearer. In order to allow large-scale manufacturing and market penetration, low-cost yet high value solutions are needed. Traditional electronics packaging and assembly with rigid PCB and pick-and-place machines are unable to cope with these demands.

The technology developed by Terepac holds promise to give an answer to the challenges mentioned above. In its patented photochemical printing process, thinned silicon dies and passive components can be placed on flexible substrates at speeds of more than one chip per second and with accuracies down to a few microns.

The wireless ECG patch that is being developed in IMEC's Human++ program at Holst Centre, an open-innovation initiative by IMEC and TNO, will be used as a test vehicle for further development of Terepac's technology. For IMEC it is an opportunity to go from a lab-scale assembly on polyimide carrier to a more production-ready version of its wireless sensor nodes. First results are expected by mid-2010.

Ric Asselstine, CEO of Terepac noted, "Following five years of development by a team of world-class scientists and engineers and based on the patents of co-founder and CTO Jayna Sheats, Terepac is ready to completely transform the landscape of small form factor electronic packaging. The company aims to become a total solutions provider able to collaborate with companies up- and downstream in the value chain. Apart from being on the forefront of technological innovation, being able to tap into the existing partner network of IMEC and Holst Centre is a great asset to our collaboration."

Julien Penders, program manager body area networks at IMEC/Holst Centre said, "Initial contacts with Terepac were laid a few months ago. It quickly became clear that their expertise would be a valuable addition to the existing competences that we and our partners have on board. We look forward to further developing our sensor technology and opening doors towards low-cost and large-scale manufacturing for our existing partners or companies interested in this technology."

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