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Gregory Whiting in the news

 

 

PARC’s Printed Electronics Take Off at NASA
Digital Manufacturing Report
29 August 2013
by Chelsea Lang

"When envisioning the spacecraft of the future, you may conjure up images of the Enterprise, or Serenity. But one of NASA’s latest projects being carried out in partnership with the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) suggests that the future may take a rather unexpected shape: small paper-thin printed electronics that will float across the surface of foreign planets. Once complete, the craft, which will consist largely of heat and light sensors, will be ideal for testing the environment on the surface of Mars."

 

NASA wants to print a spacecraft, but first it’s printing the electronics
Researchers at PARC, home of the laser printer, are working on printing sensors that could flutter about on the surface of Mars to collect environmental data.
20 August 2013 | GigaOM
by Signe Brewster

"PARC — home of the laser printer, ethernet, the graphical user interface and the Alto computer — is best known for its role in Silicon Valley’s past. But in late July, a window in the belly of the center’s Palo Alto campus provided a look at the future: printable electronics that could someday go into space.

The window led to PARC’s clean room, where bodysuit-protected researchers milled about while a printer the size of an office copy machine whirred. For three or four months now, a PARC team has been working with NASA on printing heat and light sensors that would be ideal for environmental sensing on the surface of Mars. NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory lead researcher Kendra Short said that eventually they’ll be able to print other types of electronics that take in solar energy, communicate wirelessly and more."

 

Tiny Chiplets: A New Level of Micro Manufacturing
8 April 2013 | The New York Times
by John Markoff

"The technology, on display at PARC, is part of a new system for making electronics, one that takes advantage of a Xerox invention from the 1970s: the laser printer.

If perfected, it could lead to desktop manufacturing plants that 'print' the circuitry for a wide array of electronic devices — flexible smartphones that won’t break when you sit on them; a supple, pressure-sensitive skin for a new breed of robot hands; smart-sensing medical bandages that could capture health data and then be thrown away...

The new manufacturing system the PARC researchers envision could be used to build custom computers one at a time, or as part of a 3-D printing system that makes smart objects with computing woven right into them...if the PARC researchers are successful, they will have thrown out 50 years of Silicon Valley conventional wisdom."

 

Thinfilm Pairs Up With Packaging Giant Bemis To Create Labels That Know Things
10 July 2012 | Forbes
by Connie Guglielmo

"Thinfilm Electronics moved a step closer to making the 'Internet of Things' a reality, announcing a deal with U.S. packaging giant Bemis Co. today to create a printed electronics system for consumer product, healthcare and food companies who want to tag, track and collect information wirelessly about the products they ship.

What does that mean exactly? Thinfilm has been working on low-cost sensor tags containing rewritable memory that can be placed on anything...and that can collect a bevy of information.

...Thinfilm, which paired up with Xerox’s PARC R&D spin off to help develop its printed electronics technology, has already been working on creating 'inexpensive, integrated time-temperature sensors for use in monitoring perishable goods and pharmaceuticals'. The deal with Bemis builds on that work to create a 'customizable sensor platform' that Bemis can adapt for its customers. Thinfilm and Bemis said they plan to make the Bemis Intelligent Packaging Platform available next year."

 

The Internet of things is coming to a grocery store near you
9 July 2012 | GigaOM
by Stacey Higginbotham

"Thin Film Electronics, a company that makes wafer-thin printed circuits that can be built into packaging materials, and Bemis, a manufacturer of both consumer products and wholesale packaging, have signed an agreement that will add circuits to your cereal box. Or maybe sensors to your salad bags. Or digital intelligence to disposable diapers.

The Oslo-based Thinfilm has been in business since the mid-90s. It has been manufacturing thin-film memory chips that provide about 20 bits of storage, which were used in toys and games. But it has been adding more memory and has a partnership with Xerox PARC that added transistors to its circuit, thereby giving its chips enough intelligence to track inventory or send environmental data from a sensor back to the network. ...the idea of smarter circuits that are still cheap enough to be used in packaging are integral to creating an internet of things."

 

Printing: Changing how electronics are made
[invited/ guest contributed]
1 May 2012 | Industrial + Specialty Printing
by Gregory L. Whiting, Ph.D.

"...novel manufacturing platforms could enable an even wider application space to be addressed, which would be complementary and disruptive to conventional semiconductor fabrication."

 

Printed Electronics -- Materials Thought Leaders series
...insights from the world's leading players
13 July 2011 | AZoM - The A to Z of Materials
by Dr. Gregory L. Whiting [PARC]

"As a manufacturing method printing brings many benefits including processing over large areas at high speed or over curved surfaces. Using an additive method which places the material only where it is required greatly reduces the number of steps needed compared with a subtractive method where the material is deposited everywhere and then etched back into the required pattern. Printing also readily allows digital methods to be used (such as ink-jet), so that new layouts can be created directly from the design, enabling rapid prototyping and facile customization. Furthermore, printing should also enable manufacturing sites to be set up at a fraction of the cost of conventional semiconductor fabrication lines, allowing smaller, more diverse organizations to be involved in the manufacture of electronic components."