Addressable memory for RF devices in progress
The companies stated that the roll-to-roll printable memory 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 non-volatile memory that is low-cost and supports integration with sensors and other electronic components that this technology supports, they added.
Thin Film Electronics did not detail the size of the array, the dimensions of the individual memory cells or the performance parameters of the memory. All are likely to be many orders of magnitude away from memories implemented in silicon, but could still be useful if they can become lower-cost for undemanding applications.
Addressable ferroelectric polymer non-volatile memory array from Thin Film Electronics and PARC
"We're partnering with Thin Film because they have shown that they can deliver a scalable, commercially viable version of this memory that will change the way people interact with the world," noted Ross Bringans, VP, PARC.
"We have demonstrated that one can address an array of memory cells using printed logic. This opens up new fields of use, as now addressable memory can be combined with sensors, power sources and antennas to power smart applications," stated Davor Sutija, Thin Film's CEO. Thin Film memory products include a 20bit memory in production today for consumer applications, such as toys and games, loyalty cards, info-kiosks and the addressable memory under development, available in 2012.
The target markets for Thin Film's addressable memory include NFC tags, now available in Android phones. Thin Film also targets sensor tags and disposable price labels. The addressable memory can be integrated with other printed components such as antennas and sensors, to create fully printed systems for interaction with everyday objects and the Internet of Things where the temperature of food and drugs are monitored or retail items are tracked individually rather than by pallet, container or truckload with a simple tap of a NFC-enabled phone.
- Peter Clarke