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Organic microprocessor on plastic foil

Posted: 21 Apr 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:organic? microprocessor? thin-film? transistor?

IMEC, Holst Centre and the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven have developed the first functional 8-bit microprocessor made in organic thin-film transistors (TFT) processed directly (i.e. without transfer) onto flexible plastic foil. This technology will pave the way to organic microprocessors in niche applications in which low-cost computing power is required, for example in smart packaging.

The organic 8-bit microprocessor features some 4,000 transistors with complex control logic and variable datapaths. It uses a robust dual-gate organic TFT architecture with a back-gate on the transistors to control the threshold voltage (VT).

8-bit microprocessor

8-bit organic microprocessor on foil.

The complete microprocessor is composed of two 25?m thin foils that are connected 1-to-1, a microprocessor foil with 3,381 transistors (1.96?1.72cm2), and an instruction code foil comprising 612 transistors (0.72?0.64cm2). This combination allows the implementation of basic digital signal processing on foil, namely a running averager. When a stream of 6-bit digital inputs is provided, the running averager computes the weighed time-average of the input, which allows it to increase the accuracy (to 7 bit) by filtering random noise. The microprocessor foil operates on supply voltages (VDD) between 10 and 20V at a clock frequency up to 6Hz. The power consumption of the microprocessor is typically 92?W at 10V supply voltage.

This work was performed in collaboration with Polymer Vision, one of the partners in the Holst Centre research programs, and was partially supported by the EU-Project COSMIC (IST-IP-247681).

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