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Eugene Chow in the news
Chips off the Old Block
Borrowing from photocopier technology, researchers find a way to make an electronics printer
6 December 2014 | The Economist
by Paul Markillie
"PRINTING has come a long way since Johannes Gutenberg perfected the commerical use of the printing press around 1439. Since then, movable type has given way to other processes, such as lithography and screen printing. In the digital era, laser, and inkjet printers arrived. Then 3D printers emerged to make solid objects by building up layers of material. What would be nice is a machine that could also print the electronics that go into devices. Now one group of researchers has succeeded in demonstrating how just such a machine might work."
PARC's technique of mincing chips into printer ink could revolutionize the way electronics are made
8 August 2014 | MIT Technology Review
by David Talbot
"In the same research lab where the ethernet, laser printer, and graphical user interface were born, engineers are forging an entirely new way to assemble electronic devices—a technique that could be faster, cheaper, and more versatile.
Typically, chips are made in bulk on semiconductor wafers and then cut into individual units and placed on motherboards inside computers and other devices. But researchers at PARC, in Palo Alto, California, envision doing something different with the wafers: chopping them up into hairs-width “chiplets,” mixing them into an ink, and guiding the tiny pieces electrostatically to just the right spot and orientation on a substrate, from which a roller could pick them up and print them."
Next Trick for Laser Printers: Manufacturing Electronics
9 April 2013 | Techonomy
by Adrienne Burke
"New York Times reporter John Markoff describes in today’s Science Times how a new technique developed at PARC will print computing power onto a flexible surface.
Demonstrating what PARC CEO Stephen Hoover wrote for Techonomy last year—that 'a lot of the opportunities we’re going to find in the ‘Internet of things’ are going to be about how to embed intelligence at very low cost in a distributed way into the world'—one potential of the technology Markoff describes is to take 3D-printing to the next level, by manufacturing not just a structure, but also its electronic functionality."
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."
Tiny Springs Could Reduce Microchip Waste
A new manufacturing approach could end the junking of several chips when one fails.
13 July 2010 | Technology Review
by Tom Simonite
"For now, the collaborators are developing their springy approach for the high-performance processors used in supercomputers or high-end servers. These chips are combined in closely packed groups known as multichip modules. Such modules need the processors to be packed closely together in order to speed the transfer of signals between them...They showed that their approach works on a test chip from Oracle that simulates the electrical and thermal behavior of a high-end processor."