ARM is one of the most successful semiconductor design companies in the world, with ARM based processors used ubiquitously in devices such as smart phones and tablets in addition to increasing adoption in wearables, servers, IoT nodes and vehicles. The company operates a license only model, licensing its low power processor architectures to companies across the world.
In January this year ARM showed their interest in printed and flexible electronics by making an investment in PragmatIC Printing, along with Cambridge Innovation Capital, totalling £5.4 million (about $8.4 million). PragmatIC Printing is the Cambridge UK based printed electronics firm that uses imprinting in order to pattern high resolution transistor circuits. The company use this as a basis to develop complete solutions, working with partners and integrating their components such as power and display output.
IDTechEx attended ARM TechCon last week in California, where ARM CTO Mike Muller revealed a few more teasers of their work with flexible and printed electronics. The company is celebrating its 25th birthday in a few weeks, and so they fabricated a version of their first design from 25 years ago, but this time on plastic using imprinting technology. The 2 micron design is based on NMOS architecture.
ARM CTO Muller said that this "opens up a whole new world of computing" and that progress with semiconductors is "not just about driving down to the smallest geometries." The new design freedom given by the PragmatIC technology on plastic substrates "opens up a whole load of applications that I don't think you can access with today's technology" said Muller.
This week both PragmatIC and ARM will be presenting at Printed Electronics USA in Santa Clara, in addition to Charbax of ARMDEVICES covering the Show.