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Printed and Flexible Electronics in the news

 

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Micro Chiplets
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."

 

Turning the Corner to Manufacturing's Wide Open Future in Wearable Electronics
12 June 2014 | Advanced Manufacturing Insight
by Ryan Brinks

High-tech challenges and opportunities await. And while manufacturers are a step ahead of the public, they too are wrestling with what exactly that near future will look like.

On the heels of pioneering electronic wearables like the Google Glass eyewear, Fitbit physical activity bands and Pebble smartwatches are legions of ideas hoping to discover the market’s sweet spot.

One company at the center of industry collaboration envisions smart bandages that monitor people’s health, diagnose their issues and even treat their illnesses.

 

 

FlexTech Project to Print Functional Devices Completed
3 June 2014 | PCB Design

Among the principal challenges facing developers is transitioning printed electronics research conducted in a laboratory to meet the demands of large-scale production. To better understand and address these issues, Clemson University and PARC, a Xerox company, collaborated and recently completed a FlexTech Alliance-funded project to investigate the scaling up and printing of functional devices on a commercial printing press. This project focused on the gravure printing process. 

 

Just the Ticket
Smart labels: The 40-year-old barcode has a new, more intelligent rival that can store information, display and transmit it
8 March 2014 | The Economist

IN JUNE 1974 history was made at a supermarket in Troy, Ohio, with a ten-pack of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit chewing gum. It was the first time a commercial item bearing a Universal Product Code (UPC) was scanned by a cashier at the checkout. Forty years on, what became known as a barcode has transformed the world of commerce by providing reliable product identification, tracking and pricing. Nearly everything now comes with a barcode.

As revolutionary as it was, the barcode has limited abilities. It can impart only the information it was printed with, represented by a series of horizontal stripes or a matrix pattern that can be read by an optical device, like a laser. The next generation of labelling will be more adept, containing tiny printable electronics able to generate, store and share information. These smart labels are about to become a big part of “the internet of things”.

 

PARC Sees Opportunities for Printed Electronics
27 February 2014 | Printed Electronics Now
by David Savastano

Since it was founded in 1970 by Xerox Corporation, the Palo Alto Research Center, or PARC, has played a key role in changing the way people live. Considering the everyday items that PARC had a hand in inventing - laser printing, liquid crystal displays (LCD), graphical user interface and the Ethernet to name but a few – PARC is in a unique position to develop new innovations.

The fact that PARC is heavily interested in the field of printed electronics (PE) is of note, as the independent institute - it spun out of Xerox in 2002 - has a history of success. The company has been interested in the potential of thin film electronics, developing printed thin-film transistors utilizing amorphous silicon on flexible substrates as early as 1983, and created some of the first plastic semiconductors in 2003.

Leon Wong, PARC director, market strategy, noted that PARC has formed partnerships in a number of markets where PE can play a role.

 

3 Ways 3-D Printing Could Transform Your Office
2 February 2014 | Real Business
by Giovanna Fabiano

Is the 3-D printer the unofficial symbol of the new Industrial Revolution? That’s what scientists and tech experts have been proselytizing to anyone who will listen.

In some sectors, such as healthcare, the gadget does indeed have the potential to revolutionize medicine.

Surgical instruments, hearing aids, prosthetics and umbilical cord clamps are being crafted by 3-D printers.

Tech companies are able to fine-tune their latest electronic devices in the design phase by making hundreds of 3-D prototypes. And industrial-sized 3-D printers are transforming aviation, with companies like GE using them to create jet engine parts.

But is there any palpable utility for the rest of us? Aside from its exciting ability to spit out burritos, deep fried scallops shaped like space shuttles and bobbleheads in our likeness?

Leon Wong, director of PARC Inc., A Xerox Company, in Palo Alto, Calif., focusing on technological innovation, said additive manufacturing, which extends to both 3-D printing and printed electronics will indeed change the world — it’s just “going to take some time.”

“Much of the applications are prototyping at this point, but the enormous potential for 3-D printing is everywhere —a lot of it just depends on what your business is.”

 

Soaring Growth Projected for Printed Electronics Market
9 October 2013 | Thomasnet News
by Faye Rivkin

"The total market for printed, organic, and flexible electronics is projected to grow from more than $16 billion this year to $76.8 billion in the next 10 years, according to a new report from IDTechEx. Printed electronics will allow manufacturers to replace some components with cheaper, higher performing alternatives or even completely replace a conventionally-manufactured device.

Printed and flexible sensors are already a $6.3 billion business. The largest market is biosensors, used in disposable glucose test strips which are helping diabetics monitor their health.

Developers of printed electronics had to overcome significant technological hurdles."

 

The future of consumer 3D printing: What’s real, what’s coming, and what’s hype
3D printers have been all over the news for their potential to change our lives.
2 October 2013 | Gigaom
by Signe Brewster

"Oskar van Deventer used to dream up Rubik’s Cube-like puzzles so complex that they were physically impossible to make. The ones that were possible, he painstakingly crafted out of wood or plastic or spent weeks waiting for a manufacturing facility to get back to him with a prototype.

Then he came across 3D printing and discovered he could print any design himself; even the previously impossible ones. Today, his 3D printed puzzles can sell for hundreds of dollars on sites like Shapeways.

It’s an often-told story regarding the future of consumer 3D printing. Just dream up something — anything — and then you’ll be able to print it. That reality hasn’t materialized yet, but the technology is developing fast. People are printing home goods, experimenting with printing food and developing next-generation printers that will embed advanced materials like electronics within printed objects.

“People are using it today,” said Stratasys CIO Scott Crump at the recent Inside 3D Printing conference in San Jose. “Hobbyists are using it, makers are using it. The use in the home is probably going to start more. …”

So 3D printers will undoubtedly play a larger role in our future, but to what extent?"

 

Does 3D Printing Work with Wiring?
Additive manufacturing can be used to produce connectors and terminals
1 October 2013 | Assembly Magazine
by Austin Weber

According to many experts, 3D printing promises to revolutionize the way numerous products are designed and mass-produced. Among other things, the technology can be used to create connectors, terminals and other wiring harness components. And, some day not too far down the road, 3D-printed parts may even eliminate the need for traditional wire and cable assemblies.

Additive manufacturing “prints” an object from a digital file by depositing one layer of material on top of another. It allows companies to more easily manufacture complex shapes and structures that have been traditionally been difficult to make with plastic-injection molding and other old-school processes.

While 3D printing holds tremendous promise, it’s not about to be used in mass-production any time soon. That’s because electrical wiring systems are different than other types of products where the technology is being used, such as creating custom jigs and fixtures.

 

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."

 

Robert Scoble Visits PARC -- Inkjet Printed Circuits
29 July 2013 | Scobleizer
by Robert Scoble

"Today's trip to PARC, a Xerox company was awesome...but here's the coolest thing I saw. They are printing electronic circuits in what amounts to a big inkjet printer.

...What did I take away from the visit...? Easy: Innovation hasn't stopped yet.

...Read more about the printed circuits they are designing (as you can see, they are flexible and low cost to make -- first uses will be little electronic ID tags that can be printed on shipping labels. Imagine wine shipments that will arrive and will say 'this shipment never got too hot or cold on its trip here')."

 

New Nano-Bio Manufacturing Consortium Releases First Request for Proposals on Human Performance Monitoring and Biomarkers
17 July 2013 | Nano-Bio Manufacturing Consortium

PARC is a member of the Nano-Bio Manufacturing Consortium (NBMC) 

"The NBMC has released its first Request for Proposals (RFP) focused on developing a technology platform for Human Performance Monitors for military and civilian personnel in high stress situations such as pilots, special operations personnel, firefighters, and trauma care providers. Organized by FlexTech Alliance under a grant from the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) the RFP comes only 3 month since the group officially formed its technical and leadership teams. The consortium members, working with AFRL, issued this RFP to focus on component development and integration for a lightweight, low-cost, conformal and wearable patch."

 

Does 3D printing have a future?
12 July 2013 | Assembly Magazine
by Austin Weber

"Although continuous improvement is still needed with novel materials and innovative process technologies, Wong predicts the future looks bright for printed electronics (PE). 'There’s a future convergence coming in which integrated 3D and PE printers will create smart objects, such as bandages that offer medical diagnostics,' he explains.

Wong believes that printed electromechanical items are not that far off. 'Mechanical and electronics manufacturing will all occur under one roof some day,' he says. 'That will result in hybrid products that disrupt traditional supply chains.'”

 

Flexible and Printed Electronics: Approaching the Tipping Point
2014 Flexible and Printed Electronics Conference & Exhibition Announces Dates, Location, Call for Papers, and Conference Chairs
8 July 2013 | FlexTech Alliance

"Three industry leaders have committed to chair the conference and share their experience in this emerging field of electronics: Ross Bringans, vice president at PARC, A Xerox Company (Palo Alto Research Center), Michael Idacavage, vice president of business development at Esstech, Inc., and Robert Miller, senior business manager at EMD Chemicals.

'The Flex Conference has built a well-deserved reputation for excellent technical content and as a very effective place to meet partners, discover new approaches, and to be inspired in our research and development of new offerings,' states Bringans."

 

At Stanford, 3-D printing breaks new ground
Researchers use advancing technology to re-imagine how things are made
5 July 2013 | Palo Alto Weekly
by Elena Kadvany

"Janos Veres, who manages PARC's printed electronics team, is excited about adding intelligence and functionality to products. 

'When you think about it like that, the potential of this is way beyond being able to make just a smart label. ... You look back at the early days of computing, (when) people weren't exactly sure what computers could do for you. Is it really going to go in your mobile phone? Is it really going to go into your eyeware? And now it has.'"

 

Coming to a printer near you: Electronics manufacturing
At PARC, researchers are developing a new technology for printing everything from transistors to smart labels to semiconductors
31 May 2013 | CNET
by Daniel Terdiman

"Got a large roll-to-roll printer that you're not sure what to do with? You might have a future in electronics manufacturing.

It's still very early days, but researchers at PARC have been taking significant strides in developing a new technology that makes it possible to print electronic components like sensors, transistors, light-emitters, smart tags, flexible batteries, memory, smart labels, and more."

 

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."

 

These Tiny Chiplets Could Coat Nearly Anything in Digital Intelligence
9 April 2013 | Gizmodo
by Jamie Condliffe

"Imagine if silicon chips were smaller than a grain of sand and could be made using a laser printer: everything under the sun could be made unobtrusively smart. But that's not science fiction, and you don't have to imagine too hard—because researchers at PARC have already done it."

 

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."

 

Podcast -- The New York Times' John Markoff discusses PARC chiplets
8 April 2013 | The New York Times
by John Markoff

Listen to The New York Times podcast accompanying John Markoff's story on PARC, chiplets, and the future of making electronics.

 

Video -- PARC CEO Stephen Hoover On The Business Of Innovation
19 November 2012 | Forbes
by Tomio Geron

Stephen Hoover discusses printed and flexible electronics, the future of manufacturing, and PARC's open innovation model.

 

Democratizing manufacturing, minus the people
13 November 2012 | Los Angeles Times
by Jon Healey

"In fact, PARC is already developing ways to print electronics and to print mechanical structures and electronics together, said Stephen Hoover, chief executive of PARC. He predicted the initial applications will emerge in about two years, including wearable sensors that can be put onto any product. Other possibilities include printed batteries, memory chips and displays...

3D printing is just one part of a larger trend democratizing design and production, Hoover of PARC said. 'We can imagine assembly automation and 3D printing combining' with other automation techniques into 'a virtual supply chain,' Hoover said."

 

Video -- Stephen Hoover Presents "Making Things Matters"
12 November 2012 | Techonomy 2012

Stephen Hoover, CEO of PARC, a Xerox company, speaks at Techonomy 2012 in Tucson, Ariz.

 

PARC Named Runner-up for The Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Award
16 October 2012 | The Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal has named PARC and Thinfilm as runner-up for The Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Award in the Semiconductors and Electronics category. The winners and runners-up represent disruptive breakthroughs from conventional ideas and methods.

The Wall Street Journal received 536 applications from more than two dozen countries. A team of editors and reporters reviewed the entries and forwarded the 172 most promising to an independent panel of judges from venture-capital firms, universities, and companies. From that pool, the judges chose a total of 37 winners and runners-up in 18 categories.

PARC and Thinfilm received the runner-up award for Thinfilm Addressable Memory, the first printed electronic rewritable memory. Thinfilm Addressable Memory works as a technology platform for a wide range of printed electronic system products, such as smart tags, that combine memory with other printed components.

 

The Mobile 15
Our picks for the most innovative companies
18 September 2012 | GigaOM
by Staff

"(ThinFilm's) partnership with PARC enabled the circuits to have not just memory but also the logic needed to turn the memory into something that can execute programs. That, in turn, has helped ThinFilm make the leap from the novelty toy market to a broader set of industries...

ThinFilm’s innovation is the melding of cheap printed memory with printed logic circuits from PARC. The printed circuits are cheap and can be printed onto packaging for food, medical devices, drugs or other goods. With only the memory, a pill bottle might have the ability when scanned to indicate if it had been stored at a temperature that rendered the medicine inside ineffective. Once logic and eventually a radio is added, then the same pill bottle might be able to send an alert when temperatures are veering into the danger zone."

 

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."

 

PARC Labs: 10 Key Accomplishments During First Decade After Spinning Out of Xerox [slideshow]
IT & Network Infrastructure
14 August 2012 | eWEEK
by Chris Preimesberger

"Now, in 2012, PARC is celebrating another milestone: the 10-year anniversary of becoming incorporated as a wholly owned yet independent subsidiary of Xerox. Currently, PARC has a long list of customers, but it still does most of its business with its parent company and government agencies...There also has been a lot of recent innovation at PARC of which you might not be aware. Here is a selection of 10 highly successful projects—culled from several dozen candidates—that were created, funded and empowered at PARC in the last 10 years."

 

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
by release

"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."

 

A smarter package? Bemis and Thinfilm to develop intelligent packaging platform
18 July 2012 | Plastics Today
by Heather Caliendo

"Plastics packaging powerhouse Bemis Company Inc. and Thinfilm Electronics have partnered to create a flexible sensing platform for the packaging market. This new category of packaging will collect and wirelessly communicate sensor information, for use by food, consumer product and healthcare companies.

...'Bemis has stated the Thinfilm technology could eventually be a component of every package they manufacture,' Sutija said. 'The majority of Bemis packages are used by the food industry, which means the Internet of Things, objects that talk to you, is soon part of your every day life.' The Bemis intelligent packaging platform is expected to be commercially available in 2014.

The first to commercialize printed rewritable memory, Thinfilm is creating printed system products that will include memory, sensing, display and wireless communication. Thinfilm is working together with PARC on developing a printed temperature sensor."

 

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."

 

The future will be printed in 3-D
24 June 2012 | GigaOM
by Ryan Kim

It’s a future coming sooner than people think, said Peter Weijmarshausen, the CEO of 3-D printing start-up Shapeways. Fresh off $6.2 million in new funding for Shapeways, Weijmarshausen spoke with GigaOM about where 3-D printing is going, how it parallels the software industry and how far the technology can take us into the future.

…Another big challenge is that there’s still a limited number of materials… But he said more of these materials are becoming available. And researchers at PARC are working on printable electronics for things like RAM, sensors and transistors. That, he said, could lead to consumers creating their own phones or MP3 players housed in cases of their own design."

 

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."

 

PARC showcases business models, not products, at 10 year anniversary
29 April 2012 | Ars Technica
by Nathan Mattise

"The message of the day was clear with the first words to greet guests at the registration table (via both conference workers and a commemorative bookmark). 'Just wanted to let you know, "Xerox PARC" is so 10 years ago. Today, we're "PARC, a Xerox company".' 

PARC's Power of 10 is a year-long series of events, including public-friendly guest presentations and this half-day conference, to commemorate the company's first ten years of independent operation. In 2002 Xerox incorporated PARC as an independent, wholly owned subsidiary, shifting the R&D pioneers toward an open innovation business model that took center stage on Thursday.

...Chesbrough's point was best emphasized after his presentation. The rest of the afternoon featured panels with representatives from a few PARC-collaborators. They all shared their projects, but the most eye-catching were Nicole Tricoukes, Senior Maverick at Motorola Solutions, and Davor Sutija, CEO of Thin Film." 

 

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."

 

Thinfilm Wins IDTechEx Product Development Award for World’s First Printed Addressable Memory
4 April 2012 | Printed Electronics Now

"Thinfilm Addressable Memory, the result of an extensive collaboration involving PARC, a Xerox company, Solvay and Polyera, is a significant step toward the Internet of Things (IoT), a technology trend identified by Gartner as one of the Top 10 Strategic Trends of the decade." 

 

Progress in Printed Electronics: An Interview with PARC’s Janos Veres [podcast]
31 January 2012 | ElectroIQ
by Pete Singer, Solid State Technology

"PARC is a pioneer in the development and commercialization of thin film transistors, circuits, and sensors. With a 40 year history of commercial innovation, PARC scientists have a deep knowledge of printing technology applied in domains such as displays, image sensors, and medical sensors, PARC's technical expertise and facility support printed dielectrics, nanoparticle metals, organic, oxide, and silicon (amorphous, polycrystalline, printed nanowire) semiconductors. Solid State Technology editor Pete Singer caught up with Janos Veres, area manager for printed electronics in the electronic materials and devices laboratory at PARC."

 

Printed Stickers Designed to Monitor Food Temperatures
Effort aims to merge technology from four companies to create the first sticker with all-printed electronics.
30 January 2012 | Technology Review
by David Talbot

"A plastic temperature-recording sticker that could provide detailed histories of crates of food or bottles of vaccine would be the first to use all-printed electronics components—including memory, logic, and even the battery. The cost per sticker could be only 30 cents or less.

Thin Film Electronics, based in Oslo, Norway, aims to marry the company's printed memory with printed transistors from PARC in Palo Alto, California; a printed temperature sensor from PST Sensors, a spin-off from the University of Cape Town in South Africa; and a printed battery from Imprint Energy, a spin-off from the University of California, Berkeley. The first prototype using all the components is expected later this year."

 

Printable smart tags could link carrots to the internet of things
25 January 2012 | SlashGear
by Chris Davies

"The culmination of several decades of R&D by ThinFilm Electronics, with some help from PARC’s printed transistors, the multilayer tags combine a year’s worth of battery power, sensors and a small display, and will initially be used to show a temperature record of perishable food and medications.

...by adding in PARC printed transistors, meanwhile, the tags can collect information themselves and process it."

 

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.'"

 

Thinfilm CEO Davor Sutija Wants Your Stuff To Talk To You
14 December 2011 | Forbes
by Alex Knapp

"'For example,' Sutija says. 'Think of your car. Right now you rely on a maintenance schedule for replacements, repairs, service, etc. But imagine that the individual components of your car can be tagged – your brakes can tell you when they need to be replaced by using its own sensors and reporting the information.'

That’s the future that Thinfilm is working towards through a new partnership with PARC, a Xerox company. Last October, the two companies announced that they had created a printable chip using PARC’s transistors and Thinfilm’s memory to create a low-cost, low-power memory that’s capable of being subject to programming logic."

 

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."

 

Researchers Couple Printed Logic with Printed Memory
The device processes only small amounts of data, but at a very low cost.
26 October 2011 | Technology Review
by Kate Greene

"Printed electronics have been advancing in bits and pieces for years -- a crude processor here, a basic memory device there. Now researchers at PARC and the Norwegian company Thinfilm Electronics have announced a printed electronic device that, for the first time, marries transistors with memory.

...Earlier this year, Thinfilm showed off a handheld device capable of reading cards printed with circuits that store 20 bits of data.  In May, the company announced engineering deals with two major toy manufacturers who plan to use its printable memory.

...The prototype is a 'building block' that can be used for a number of different applications, says Raghu Das, CEO of IDTechEx, a research firm. 'There has been a huge effort on printing transistors globally,' Das says, 'but very poor effort on making useful building blocks like this, which can be used horizontally for many applications.' The announcement by PARC and Thinfilm, he says, is 'very good news.'"

 

Addressable memory for RF devices in progress
26 October 2011 | EE Times Asia
by Peter Clarke

"Thin Film Electronics ASA and PARC have combined their printed memory and organic addressing regime, respectively, to create a working prototype of a printed non-volatile memory. The ferroelectric polymer storage is addressed with p- and n-type organic circuits similar to CMOS circuitry."

 

NFC Technology Drives Thinner, Cheaper Circuits
24 October 2011 | Mobiledia.com
by Kendra Srivastava

"Cheaper, two-way circuits may change the way objects and phones carry and transmit information, but their success depends on NFC's wider adoption in the mobile payment marketplace.

The Addressable Memory transistors by Thinfilm and PARC are printed on thin plastic and cost a fraction of their silicon equivalents, RFID tags. They can also both send and receive data from smartphones, unlike the passive product labels available on today's market.

The chips are set to be unveiled in 2012, with plans to have them wirelessly broadcast information about products by 2013."

 

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."

 

Making Memories With Specialty Printing
The success of PE memory devices depends significantly on the cost.
3 May 2011 | ISP (Industrial + Specialty Printing)
by Randall Sherman

"ThinFilm Electronics announced the first commercially available rewriteable memory device produced using roll-to-roll printing processes...ThinFilm received its first order through one of the ten largest toy manufacturers out of Japan and hopes to apply its technology to interactive games, collector cards, RFID, and biometric applications. The company is targeting addressable applications of 40- to 128-bit memories and hopes soon to merge printed transistors together through an alliance with PARC."

 

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 invests in plastic memory hopeful
28 March 2011 | EE Times
by Peter Clarke

"Thin Film has been commercializing printed, rewritable memory using ferroelectric polymer material for application in specific markets — including toys and games — for a number of years and is developing contact‐based memory arrays for higher‐capacity applications."

 

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."

 

U.S. Patents Awarded to Inventors in California
20 March 2011 | TMCnet

"PARC has been assigned a patent (7,897,439)...for an 'electronic device with unique encoding.' The abstract of the patent published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office states: 'An electronic device comprising a thin film transistor (TFT) array and manufacturing methods thereof according to various embodiments. Jet-printed material is deposited on selected partially formed transistors to form completed transistors... Such uniquely encoded devices have applications for encryption, identification and personalization of electronic systems.'"

 

Fantastic Plastic, Part 3: Polymemories
The search is on for inexpensive alternatives to increasingly complex and costly silicon-based memory systems...simple device structures, ease of fabrication, compatibility with flexible substrates and comparative low cost.
10 February 2011 | TechNewsWorld
by Ned Madden

"The time for PMDs might finally be at hand ... even if the first application is the humble radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags used in retail store product tracking and toll-road electronic collection systems.

As silicon technologies plunge ever deeper into nano-scale dimensions, pushing microchip densities to the level of the atom, business is looking for inexpensive alternatives to ever-more complex and costly silicon-based memory systems -- the collection of microchips that determines the size and number of programs that a computer can run simultaneously, as well as the amount of data that can be instantly processed.

...But it's Thinfilm, which has 15 years of experience in the field of non-volatile memories using functional polymers, that seems to be everywhere, working with just about everyone else in the polymer memory field.

...Researchers at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) have been developing a suite of materials for making printed electronics, including sensors and transistors. PARC works with Thinfilm to make higher-capacity printed memory devices that incorporate the research center's printed transistors."

 

World's first printed rewritable memory array with logic circuitry
Thin Film Electronics with PARC have completed the design of a 128-bit addressable memory. The design combines Thinfilm's memory with transistor technology developed by PARC, and includes CMOS circuitry to significantly contact pads.
21 January 2011 | EE Times Europe
by Julien Happich

"Thinfilm and PARC announced in October that they are working to provide next-generation memory tags using printed electronics, and is now developing prototypes of the addressable memory. These prototypes will be ready later this year. Transfer to production is expected in 2012."

 

Thinfilm Addressable Memory Design Completed
19 January 2011 | Printed Electronics World

"The design of the world's first printed rewritable memory array with logic circuitry is ready... The design combines Thinfilm's memory technology with transistor technology developed by PARC, and includes CMOS circuitry to significantly reduce the number of contact pads necessary to control the Thinfilm Memory."

 

PARC names new CEO
12 January 2011 | EE Times
by Mark LaPedus

"PARC is involved in several R&D projects.

In September, PARC announced it was one of four project teams chosen by NSF to pursue ways to build a ''more trustworthy and robust Internet.''

...In November, PARC and PowerCloud Systems Inc. announced the spinout of PowerCloud Systems, which has been incubated at PARC since early 2008 and is initially focusing on offering cloud-managed networking solutions for small and medium-sized businesses.

...Also in November, PARC and Soligie Inc. announced an agreement aimed at advancing the commercialization of printed electronics technologies and capabilities. In September, Thin Film Electronics ASA, a provider of advanced printed memory technology, and PARC announced that they are working together to provide next-generation memory technology enabled through printed electronics."

 

Stretchable Silicon Could Make Sports Apparel Smarter
...wearable electronics to monitor athletic performance.
9 December 2010 | Technology Review
by Katherine Bourzac

"Working with organic materials, researchers at Xerox's PARC have made printed sensor tape for the U.S. military that's mounted inside helmets to record blast strength, temperature, and other data, and includes transistors to process the data."

 

PARC Readies Printed Electronics for Market
Early 2011 will see printed memory devices in toys and printed sensors in packages used to ship drugs.
3 December 2010 | Technology Review
by Katherine Bourzac

"Inexpensive printed sensors, transistors, and memory devices that aren't as speedy or as high-capacity as silicon devices could enable the widespread use of sensors in places that aren't cost-effective today. Disposable devices could monitor and store information about the temperature of drugs, the safety of food during shipping, or air quality.

Researchers at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), which is owned by Xerox, have been developing a suite of materials for making printed electronics, including sensors and transistors. This week at the Printed Electronics USA conference in Santa Clara, California, PARC announced details about two partnerships to develop products based on its research prototypes."

 

Why Software is More Important Than Sensors in the Internet of Things
9 November 2010 | ReadWriteWeb
by Richard MacManus

"As the Internet of Things slowly becomes a commercial reality, led by industries such as food and logistics, the underlying technologies (RFID, sensors, QR codes and more) become less important than what is done with the data. As Bo Begole, Principal Scientist and Manager of Ubiquitous Computing at PARC, put it to me recently: 'the algorithms are more interesting now than the sensors.'

Begole's group at PARC (Palo Alto Research Center, a subsidiary of Xerox) puts more emphasis nowadays on technologies such as predictive analytics, context engines and 'Behavioral Ware'. It's much more about the software, than the sensors."

 

Thinfilm, PARC team on polymer memory
Thinfilm Film Electronics ASA, a provider of polymer memory technology, has announced it is working with Palo Alto Research Center Inc., a subsidiary of Xerox, to develop memory technology enabled through printed electronics.
14 October 2010 | EE Times [international]
by Peter Clarke

"Thinfilm (Oslo, Norway) has been commercializing printed, rewritable memory using ferroelectric polymer material for application in specific markets — including toys and games — for a number of years and is developing contact‐based memory arrays for higher‐capacity applications. Combining Thinfilm's memory with PARC's printed thin‐film transistor technology will allow the development of integrated systems as part of Thinfilm's product roadmap, the company said."

 

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."

 

PARC turns 40: mice, money, and the new interwebs
A place whose time has come. Again
20 September 2010 | The Register
by Gavin Clarke

"Spend enough time talking to anybody involved with PARC's present or past and at some point, they'll tell you the same thing: contrary to popular thinking, the 'ideation' phase of development is 'easy.' That takes just 20 per cent of your time. Developing that idea into a successful or desirable technology or business is the sweaty part."

 

Printed Electronics Flexing their Muscles
20 July 2010 | Market Watch
by Lauren Rudser

"Circuits printed on flexible materials are the technology of the future, according to developers and innovators at Semicon West in San Francisco." PARC's Ana Claudia Arias describes a flexible tape that could enable different functionalities by changing sensors; for example, non-invasive medical applications for monitoring a patient's health or applying it to a box for monitoring its shipment.

 

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."

 

Creative Young Engineers Selected to Participate in NAE's 2010 U.S. Frontiers of Engineering Symposium
25 June 2010 | The National Academies
by Janet Hunziker

PARC scientist Ana Arias is one of eighty-six of the nation's "brightest young engineers" chosen to participate in this year's National Academy of Engineering's (NAE) 16th annual U.S. frontiers of Engineering Symposium being held September 23-25 in Armonk, New York.

Internationally recognized for her expertise in polymer-based electronics and flexible electronics (including organic light emitting diodes, photovoltaics, and thin-film transistors), Arias manages PARC’s printed electronic devices team. The team specializes in using inkjet printing techniques to fabricate organic, active matrix display backplanes for paper-like displays and most recently for flexible sensors.

 

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. "

 

What printed-electronics leaders are working on now
3 December 2009 | Converting Magazine Blog
by Mark Spaulding

PARC, a recent spin-off of Xerox, is working with DARPA (the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) on some pretty cool items. One is a sensor tape that measures a soldier’s accumulated exposure to the dangerous sound levels of explosions...Knights also described an X-ray detector that acts like a “reverse LCD” to help detect IEDs (improvised explosive devices). The sheet of plastic with printed electronics on it integrates imaging processing with other applications to make a useful product to protect our men and women in uniform.

 

Printed electronics needs new design rules
18 November 2009 | Printed Electronics World
by Dr. Peter Harrop

"The irony of the integrated circuit - the silicon chip - is that it integrates so little... Printed electronics is very different. It can integrate all these things. For example, PARC and Soligie in the USA are printing components on top of each other. They connect but they can also interact - beneficially or problematically. The interaction of printed components and the use of new components that can only be made as thin films means that this new technology needs completely new design rules. This need is underpinned by the fact that the elements of the new electronics have new limitations, not just new capabilities."

 

Stanford-led research helps overcome barrier for organic electronics
Electronic devices can't work well unless all of the transistors, or switches, within them allow electrical current to flow easily when they are turned on. A team of engineers has determined why some transistors made of organic crystals don't perform well
10 November 2009 | Stanford Report
by David Orenstein

"The research, which could help engineers design better digital displays and other devices, was published online Nov. 8 in the journal Nature Materials.  ...the researchers employed information from extensive theoretical calculations, made by co-author John E. Northrup at PARC..."

 

AIP awards Industrial Physics Prize to inventor of digital x-ray detector
Robert Street of PARC recognized for key medical imaging technology
30 October 2009 | American Institute of Physics

"The American Institute of Physics (AIP) is awarding the 2010 Prize for Industrial Applications of Physics next month to Robert Street of PARC. Street's pioneering work at PARC in the early 1990s led to the development of flat-panel digital X-ray detectors, a commercially available technology that has replaced traditional film X-ray machines for many medical applications. His current research explores finding novel low-cost and large-area electronics for applications ranging from new flat panel displays to radiation sensors. Projects he has been involved with in recent years include ink-jet printing of organic electronic devices, constructing flexible electronic displays, developing technology for truck-size scanners for homeland security, and researching new solar cell structures."

 

FlexTech Alliance Opens Registration and Announces Keynote for 2010 Flexible Electronics & Displays Conference
12 October 2009 | FlexTech News

"Kicking off the three-day Business and Technical Conference will be a keynote address by Mark Bernstein, President and Center Director for PARC. Bernstein will share his thoughts and observations on flexible electronics as a strategic technology and how it fits into PARC's research relationships with its industry partners."

 

PARC: Flexible Electronics
30 June 2009 | Boing Boing
by Lisa Katayama

By building circuits and electrical connections into bendable plastics, glass, and metal foil substrates, they're paving the way for new technologies like flexible flat-panel displays, medical image sensors, and electronic paper. Because flexible electronics are super lightweight, rugged, and can be rolled or folded into smaller pieces, they are expected to take mobility and portability to new levels.

 

Why E-Books Are Stuck in a Black-and-White World
9 June 2009 | Wired
by Priya Ganapati

"The hitch is that color e-ink technologies aren't anywhere near ready for prime time. 'People don't like color screens that are dark,' says Raj Apte, manager of prototype devices and circuits for PARC, 'and so far, the displays for e-readers we have seen lack the brightness that makes color screens attractive.'"

 

Applications: Blast Strips Record Explosion Exposure
1 January 2009 | Photonics Spectra
by Amanda D. Francoeur

"The wound most characteristic of soldiers...is traumatic brain injury... PARC, a Xerox company, under the DARPA Sensor Tape Program, has devised a way to record the number and intensity of explosions that soldiers experience by applying a blast dosimeter to their helmets."

 

The Paper Chasers
Isn't it ironic: Xerox is hoping it can profit by teaching companies how to reduce their printing.
21 November 2008 | Newsweek
by Daniel Lyons

"PARC scientists have discovered something surprising: their expertise in printing transfers surprisingly well to technologies like solar panels. PARC's expertise in particle manipulation, developed while researching toners, has led to a water-filtration system that uses much less energy than conventional methods; it could find use in municipal water-treatment plants and desalinization plants."

 

The Future of...Paper
Earth-friendly Paper
1 November 2008 | ZDNet [video]
by Sumi Das

"It's a possible fix for the reams and reams of paper that are printed, used briefly, and then tossed everyday. ZDNet correspondent Sumi Das takes us inside PARC where scientists are developing a way to print an image that disappears, allowing the paper to be used dozens of times."

 

A Helmet Patch to Measure Blasts
Researchers are developing a cheap, lightweight plastic strip that can be worn on a soldier's helmet to help diagnose brain injury.
14 October 2008 | Technology Review
by Brittany Sauser

"..the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) has awarded a $5 million, three-year contract to PARC to develop a strip of plastic that can be 'taped' onto a soldier's helmet to measure his or her exposure to explosions. The tape, which will cost less than a dollar per strip, is a flexible plastic substrate that will contain printed electronics, analog memory, and sensors."

 

PARC, Still Making a Difference
23 September 2008 | Conde Nast Portfolio
by Kevin Maney

"...Microsoft bought a search technology company called Powerset for an alleged $100 million. Powerset was built on technology licensed from PARC. [PARC] has also won some attention in the past week for unveiling a way to print documents so the ink disappears in a day, allowing the paper to be reused."

 

The future of e-paper: The Kindle is only the beginning
Thin, flexible, low-power digital paper is just around the corner. Will your next book or newspaper be 'e'?
6 June 2008 | ComputerWorld
by David DeJean

"The first successful demonstration of e-paper technology was made by Nick Sheridon at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) in the 1970s. His technology, called Gyricon, used tiny rotating spheres of electrically charged plastic, black on one side, white on the other, suspended in bubbles of oil between transparent electrodes."

 

Brain Blasts Mapped with Stick-on Sensors
4 June 2008 | Wired.com
by Noah Shachtman

"DARPA has just handed PARC, a...contract to put together prototype spools of the sensor tape. PARC says its expertise in 'jet-printing' and 'polymer devices and circuits' ought to help out with the manufacture and design. The tape will include 'multiple sensors to collect and record data associated with blasts, including shock waves, acceleration, acoustic levels, and light intensities.'"

 

Reincarnation for Paper, Without Recycling
2 May 2008 | Greentech Media
by Jennifer Kho

"After about two years of development, Xerox scientists have come up with a photosensitive paper and a 'printer' that uses a blue UV light-emitting diode instead of ink or toner to make its marks. Eric Shrader, area manager of PARC's hardware systems laboratory said 'While businesses have been talking about the paperless office for 30 years, paper usage actually keeps increasing.'"

 

Xerox Shows Off Future Tech And Tries To Better Define Itself
Despite failed attempts to cash in, the company and its PARC subsidiary have several pillars of growth in mind to compete with Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Salesforce.com.
1 May 2008 | InformationWeek
by Thomas Claburn

"...partnerships serve to underscore that PARC is an independent organization, one that is helping organizations other than Xerox innovate. That has some tangential value to Xerox, as PARC's owner: Good publicity may rub off. But PARC isn't just serving Xerox by inventing technologies for outside organizations. It's also investing technologies that could drive revenue at Xerox."

 

Getting innovation out of the lab at Xerox
30 April 2008 | FORTUNE Big Tech
by Jon Fortt

PARC's "...normally secretive Silicon Valley researchers and their colleagues from around the world held an open house this week to show off surprising projects they're developing. Among them: A blood scanner that uses a twist on laser printing technology to spot rogue cells, a type of paper that can be erased by ultraviolet light and reused, and... "

 

New way to save energy: Disappearing ink
30 April 2008 | CNET News.com
by Michael Kanellos

"PARC and parent company Xerox are experimenting with a type of paper and a complementary printer that would produce documents that fade away after 16 to 24 hours. Users don't have to wait for the paper to fade either. By running it through the special printer made for this paper, the printer will erase the old image before putting the new one on."

 

A Peek Inside PARC
Silicon Valley's fabled invention machine shows its latest tech
29 April 2008 | Popular Science
by Sean Captain

"If technology were a religion, the...Palo Alto Research Center would be one of the holiest shrines on any pilgrimage. So much of our modern computer world was invented at this freewheeling innovation lab... PARC today is a more-focused operation that has to turn quick profits... But it's still a well-staffed corporate research lab..."

 

Inside Innovation at...PARC
29 April 2008 | O'Reilly Radar
by Ben Lorica

"While other research labs use a large auditorium and parade different researchers in, I thought the smaller, science fair format made for better interactions between the visitors and the researchers. We saw early prototypes created by the researchers themselves, so the user interfaces were far from polished. Here are some of the highlights..."

 

...PARC Opens Its Doors
29 April 2008 | PC Magazine
by Marty Orgel

"...PARC allowed reporters a rare look at new technology it is developing...including a copy machine paper that..does not use any ink or toner to put words onto the paper, ...a new way to capture and use solar energy and a laser-based medical scanner to detect rare or potentially damaging cells in human blood instead of using invasive and potentially dangerous biopsies."

 

Xerox Showcases Erasable Paper, Smart Documents
29 April 2008 | PC World
by Agam Shah

"Xerox's research arm Monday showcased its latest innovations, including erasable paper and tools that make documents 'smart' by adding a deeper meaning to words and images. ...The laboratory, with other Xerox research facilities, is now trying to help its parent company and other start-ups by focusing on printing and other innovations to access, use and secure electronic documents."

 

PARC shows off research projects beyond its Xerox work
29 April 2008 | VentureBeat
by Dean Takahashi

"Mark Bernstein, head of PARC, says the R&D center...is determined to commercialize its inventions through its business groups and leverage its 165 researchers. Xerox spun out PARC in 2002....[and] funds only about 50 percent of the work. The rest is financed through licenses to other corporations, research partnerships with big companies, and government grants."

 

Do We Need Reusable Paper?
Xerox's famed Palo Alto Research Center previewed a printing technology that lets a printed page be reused.
28 April 2008 | InternetNews.com
by Andy Patrizio

"How many times have you printed out a document on a sheet of paper, used it once, and tossed it out? According to PARC, 44.5 percent of the time that's exactly the fate of a printed page. That's a waste of more than just the paper, but the power used to create it..."

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