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Printed Electronics World
Posted on July 28, 2004 by  &  with 2 Comments

Problems with silicon chips

Silicon chips and conventional electronics

Silicon chips are only cost effective if they are small. They therefore cannot have necessarily large conventional components such as loudspeakers and batteries deposited on them to save cost, improve reliability and reduce overall size. Since the chips and the conventional components show no sign of dropping below 5 cents each at typical order levels, this consigns such conventional circuits to being bit players in new markets such as electronic smart packaging with massive potential volumes such as tens of billions yearly are involved. That is restricted to certain RFID uses in packaging at present.

Problems with silicon

The following lists some of the reasons why developed with printed electronics are so popular. Silicon faces many problems such as:
  • Silicon foundries cost ten times more every few years , e.g. $3 billion today
  • Development spend growing very rapidly
  • Interconnects means failures and expense
  • Large area or small orders mean expense
  • The lowest cost silicon chips have been 5 - 10 cents for 20 years
  • Traditionally silicon is thick and brittle but thinner, smaller chips are emerging
  • Difficult to integrate with other components quickly and cheaply
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