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Ross Bringans in the news
UC Berkeley, PARC, Thinfilm Electronics pursue printed sensors with FlexTech Alliance grant
22 August 2012 | Solid State Technology
"An integrated printed sensor system is under development with a new grant from FlexTech Alliance, which supports displays and flexible, printed electronics. The project leverages commercial development work currently underway between PARC and Thinfilm Electronics on designing a printed sensor platform and will integrate temperature sensing as well as assess an oxygen sensor being developed at the University of California at Berkeley.
Earlier this year, Thinfilm Electronics and PARC won the FlexTech Alliance Innovation Award for the world's first working prototype of a printed, non-volatile memory device addressed with complementary organic circuits, the equivalent of CMOS circuitry."
3D manufacturing: Print me a phone
New techniques to embed electronics into products
28 July 2012 | The Economist
"Printing electronics is not new; screen printing, lithography, inkjet and other processes have long been used to manufacture circuit boards and components. But the technologies are improving rapidly and now allow electronics to be printed on a greater variety of surfaces. In the latest developments, electronics printing is being combined with 'additive manufacturing', which uses machines popularly known as 3D printers to build solid objects out of material, one layer at a time...
[PARC] is developing ways to use such inks. These can print circuits for various components, including flexible display screens, sensors and antennae for radio-frequency security tags. With the emergence of additive-manufacturing techniques, it starts to become possible to print such things directly onto the product itself, says Janos Veres, the manager of PARC’s printed-electronics team."
Global Flexible Electronics Market to Reach US$25.9 Billion by 2018, According to New Report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc.
19 July 2012 | Digital Journal
"Flexible electronics is an emerging field of science and manufacturing technology, which enables planting of electronic devices onto conformable plastic substrates. ...driven by the global demand for lighter and smaller electronic products that consume lesser power. Due to the fact that these devices are more shock resistant, cost-effectively manufactured, and can be flexed or bended, they have the capability of being integrated into portable devices, clothing, and packaging materials.
…Key players profiled in the report include, 3M Flexible Circuit Foundry, Applied Materials, Inc., Citala Ltd., Cambridge Display Technology Ltd., E Ink Holdings, Inc., Infinite Corridor Technology, Konarka Technologies, Inc., MC10, Inc., PARC, Versatilis, LLC, among others."
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."
New revolution coming to electronics technology
20 May 2012 | San Jose Mercury News
by Troy Wolverton
"For decades, digital technology has been synonymous with silicon. But maybe for not much longer. The age of printed electronics may soon be upon us. Following years of hype and development, technologies that allow chips and other electronic components to be made using techniques akin to inkjet printing -- rather than by lithography or other standard methods -- may finally be reaching maturity...
Part of the challenge the industry faced was that it was developing individual components, said Davor Sutija, Thinfilm's CEO. While the components might cost less than their silicon-based counterparts, the cost advantage was often lost when they were combined with other parts. But by using technology pioneered by PARC and teaming up with other printed electronics companies, Thinfilm has developed a way to connect and combine components to create a complete printed system."
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."
The age of flexible electronics is upon us
16 April 2012 | VentureBeat
by Dean Takahashi
"It has taken decades to reach this point because it requires the invention of new semiconductor manufacturing technologies, which have to be reused in ways that apply to the new kinds of materials. The good thing is that putting a little bit of electronics into flexible or wearable materials can result in a lot of new applications that don’t cost all that much to build. Flexible electronics is still looking for home-run applications, but it’s not as pie-in-the sky as it sounds. The manufacturing has improved to the point where simple memory devices cost just pennies."
Flexible displays bend what's possible for computers
..."Just one word. Plastics," he whispers. "There's a great future in plastics."
5 April 2012 | USA Today
by Jon Swartz
"Until then, flexible displays will be visible in smaller, more modest designs such as smart security tags, shelf and food labels, and loyalty cards with memory, says Janos Veres, who manages the printed electronics team at PARC.
PARC, the storied research center that inspired many of the features in the original Macintosh computer, is tinkering with plastic memory, chips on consumer goods packaging, sensors on helmets, and more.
One project is a wearable patch with sensors to monitor a patient's heart rate, temperature and blood pressure. PARC is also looking at the concept of a flexible battery to save energy and space, Veres says."
The Comeback of Xerox PARC
...Xerox's R&D subsidiary has a new strategy for innovation: make money.
21 December 2011
"PARC, which once served only Xerox, now has an expanding list of technologies in development with outside partners that include Fujitsu, Motorola, NEC Display Solutions, Microsoft, Samsung, SolFocus, and Oracle. The change in strategy has helped turn it from a multimillion-dollar financial sinkhole into a modest, but growing, innovation business.
For PARC, the partnerships are signs that open innovation is working. 'There are plenty of great ideas at PARC, but you learn early on that execution is often the hard part—execution and timing,' says St. Claire. '...You almost have to be as innovative in the commercialization—especially when you have game-changing technologies—as on the technology side.'"
On moving printed electronics from enabling technology to application
22 November 2011 | Printed Electronics World
by Raghu Das, CEO of IDTechEx
"IDTechEx recently visited PARC in California and learnt of its business model today, culture, and legacy pioneering technological change...among many other industry contributions.
Below, I share some updates on what IDTechEx has been observing at PARC. Taken together, these updates convey an important movement beyond the enabling materials, processes, equipment, and components."
Thin Film, PARC tip printed 'CMOS' memory
21 October 2011 | EE Times
by Peter Clarke
"...produced a working prototype of a printed ferroelectric polymer non-volatile memory that is addressed with p- and n-type organic circuits, the equivalent of CMOS circuitry.
The companies claimed that the combination of Thin Film's printed memory and PARC's organic addressing regime is the key to producing roll-to-roll printable memory that can be used in the Internet-of-Things where everything has an IP address and is connected to the Internet via a smart tag. Such smart tags require rewritable nonvolatile memory that is low cost and supports integration with sensors and other electronic components, which this technology supports, the companies said.
...The prototype will be publicly demonstrated at PARC on Monday, Oct. 24, in conjunction with a visit from the Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry, His Excellency Trond Giske."
Printable transistors usher in 'internet of things'
Billions of systems, printed dirt cheap
21 October 2011 | The Register
by Rik Myslewski
"Thinfilm and PARC's breakthrough is a technology that can print not only memory onto, well, thin films, but can now also print transistors to address and manage that memory.
…Up until Friday's announcement, Thinfilm's non-volatile, ferroelectric memory was completely passive – it just sat there, holding those 20 bits in its memory cells. To be rewritten or read, it needed to be accessed by an external device which used one access pad for each memory cell. What Thinfilm and PARC have now developed is the ability to print not only the memory cells, but to also print the logic onto the same substrate needed to manage those memory cells.
…Thinfilm and PARC aren't working in a vacuum. 'There are a number of companies, [Thinfilm CEO] Sutija told us, 'that have been working on printed sensors, printed power sources, printed displays, and we're going to be active in build an ecosystem with these other partners to be able to then create integrated products.'"
New printed chip could spark cheaper sensor networks
21 October 2011 | GigaOM
by Stacey Higginbotham
"Thin Film Electronics ASA...has developed a way to add computing to its circuits through a partnership with Xerox PARC. This means it can offer thin, disposable tracking tags for a few cents apiece, and it could soon provide a valuable component for the Internet of things.
Thin Film is an Oslo-based company that has been in business since the mid-90s. It has been manufacturing thin-film memory chips that provide about 20 kilobytes of storage, which were used in toys and games. But thanks to its partnership with PARC it has added transistors to its circuits, which gives the chips a soupcon of intelligence — enough to perhaps track inventory or send environmental data from a sensor back to the network. It has also added a bit more memory.
…A low price is important, because it makes the technology far more accessible than RFID or other technology that today is used for tracking high-value inventory. RFID chips are built on silicon and can cost a few dollars, so aren’t practical for everyday items."
Collaborating with Industry on Printed Electronics
[invited/ guest contributed]
6 October 2011 | Industrial + Specialty Printing
by Dr. Ross Bringans, PARC
"Printing enables low-cost advantages and novel form factors not easily attained by other electronics-manufacturing methods. The applications, from consumer electronics to biomedical devices, are endless. A great deal of progress has been made recently in printed electronics, but why don't we see printed devices around us everyday, everywhere?"
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."
Thinfilm's financial report first quarter 2011
10 May 2011 | Reuters
by press release
"BUSINESS REVIEW In the first quarter, Thinfilm passed its first milestone towards creating integrated systems and introduced the OBA demo game powered by printed rewritable memory.
...'Activities with PARC have generated significant interest from both prospective customers and technology companies to link printed components, such as electrochromic displays, thin-film batteries, and sensors with Thinfilm memory,' [Thinfilm CEO Davor] Sutija continues."
PE Europe 2011 Highlights New Opportunities, Needs for Market
6 April 2011 | Printed Electronics Now
by David Savastano
“The design, which combines Thinfilm’s memory technology with PARC’s printed transistor technology, allows compact higher-density printed memories and enables new applications, including integration with other printed elements, such as sensors, power sources, and antennas. The prototypes for the addressable memory will be ready during 2011. Transfer to production is expected in 2012. There are significant horizontal markets, markets that meet the needs of a wide variety of industries, waiting for this technology to be ready.”
Thinfilm & PARC extend printed electronics commercialization engagement
By working together to further co-develop Addressable Memory technology, PARC and Thinfilm are complementing each other
5 April 2011 | Printed Electronics World
by company release
"PARC and Thinfilm's collaboration on next-generation printed memory solutions kicked off last year with joint design of Thinfilm 128-bit Addressable Memory, which combines Thinfilm's unique non-volatile memory technology with PARC's printed CMOS transistor technology. Given the success of the initial design phase, this next phase extends the engagement to prototyping the product for manufacturing readiness."
Thinfilm, PARC Extend PE Commercialization Engagement
4 April 2011 | Printed Electronics Now
by company release
"Thin Film Electronics ASA (Thinfilm) and PARC, a Xerox company, announced that they have entered the next phase of their co-innovation engagement."
PARC, a Xerox company, takes minority stake in Thinfilm
25 March 2011 | Printed Electronics World
by Thinfilm release
"Thin Film Electronics ASA ('Thinfilm') is a publicly-listed Norwegian technology company with its head office in Oslo and product development in Linköping, Sweden. Thinfilm is a pioneer in the field of Printed Electronics, and provides fully-printed non-volatile, rewritable memory for applications in toys & games, logistics, sensor, and ID systems...
Using printing to manufacture electronic memory makes it possible to reduce the number of process steps, resulting in dramatically lower manufacturing costs, and also reduced environmental impact as compared to traditional semiconductor processes."
What PARC Will Do with Its Next 40 Years
27 September 2010 | eWeek
by Chris Preimesberger
"In human terms, the Palo Alto Research Center is in middle age, but it continues to invent important things with youthful vigor..."
Silicon Nanowires for Solar, Desalination Via Gravity on Tap at PARC’s 40th
The legendary lab turns 40. Here is what’s next. Video too.
23 September 2010 | Greentech Media
by Michael Kanellos
"...many of the presentations focused on how the lab managed to come up with and popularize some of its storied inventions, while also looking toward the future."
Getting Personal: A Q&A with a PARC Pioneer Reflecting on "The Office of the Future" 40 Years Later
PARC research fellow David Biegelsen, who has been at Xerox's legendary R&D lab from the beginning, talks with Scientific American about being at the forefront of the personal computing revolution that changed the way we work and live
18 September 2010 | Scientific American
by Larry Greenemeier
"Nevertheless, to a large extent, today's sprawling array of software apps, wireless gadgets and social networks owe their existence to a team of researchers that was assembled 40 years ago in California's fledgling Silicon Valley to envision and create 'the office of the future'...
PARC may have missed out on becoming a household name, but few could deny that the organization has demonstrated an uncanny ability to envision technology way ahead of its time. Researchers there continue to work in dozens of areas, including water treatment, renewable energy generation, organic and printed electronics, and artificial intelligence. Earlier this month the National Science Foundation chose a team that includes PARC as one of four project teams to participate in the Future Internet Architecture program. PARC, which was incorporated in 2002 as a wholly owned independent subsidiary of Xerox, is part of a project (with nine universities) worth about $8 million to develop an architecture called 'Named-Data-Networking,' which seeks to create a more flexible and secure network by identifying data through names (rather than numbers alone) and routing it based on those names.
We caught up with David Biegelsen, a charter member of Xerox PARC and currently a research fellow, to talk about PARC's early days, its bittersweet successes and its future. PARC is holding a formal celebration of its 40th anniversary on September 23."
PARC helps drive innovation in PE
8 April 2010 | Printed Electronics Now
by David Savastano
"Today, PARC is an independent for-profit entity, having been spun out by Xerox in 2002. With its background in printing, graphics, and foundational innovation, PARC has turned its expertise to the areas of printed and flexible electronics with key successes. The company developed printed thin-film transistors utilizing amorphous silicon (a-Si) on flexible substrates as early as 1983, and in 2003, created some of the first plastic semiconductors. Today, sensors and displays are among the key areas of focus for PARC. "
Building a handheld HIV detector
Researchers race to bring cheap HIV testing to rural regions of developing countries.
1 April 2010 | Inside Science
by Devin Powell
Researchers at PARC "have shrunk the laser technology inside large laboratory machines down to about the size of an iPod. Their cheap, handheld device promises to provide an immune system check-up on the spot and in less than 10 minutes. The technology analyzes a small sample of blood drawn by a finger prick. 'The quality of their test is great,' said researcher Bernhard Weigl of PATH, a non-profit reviewing a variety of CD4 testing technologies. 'If you look at their graph, it pretty much looked like the graph you would get from a big instrument.' PARC's prototype cost about $250 to build, a hundred times cheaper than the large flow cytometers currently in use."
Dowa presents 320–350nm UV LED samples
17 March 2010 | Semiconductor Today
by Mike Cooke
"The company is presently offering prototype samples emitting at wavelengths of 320–350nm with 1.4mW output power at 20mA current and is seeking to start mass production. The nitride semiconductor epitaxial layers are grown using technology developed by PARC in the USA and Japan’s RIKEN. Dowa sees opportunities for UV LED application in resin curing, adhesion, drying, medical treatment, analysis, photo catalysis, water purification and sterilization. A particular attraction of LEDs is their more environment-friendly character when compared with UV mercury lamps. The economic factor of longer life is also attractive."
Dowa Electronics Materials Co., Ltd., "has successfully developed practical applications for a deep ultraviolet LED that generates shorter wavelengths than the ultraviolet LEDs currently available on the market...The company created an LED with the world's highest output in wavelengths by combining the AIN template (high-quality AIN film growing on the sapphire substrate) that it has and an ultraviolet LED epi growth technology introduced from [the] PARC and RIKEN and by applying the technology."