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Printed Electronics World
Posted on October 22, 2004 by  & 

Silicon chips connected to other components

The cost constraints severely limiting the ubiquitous sale of most low cost electronics products are not removed simply by replacing the silicon chip with printed electronics. Whether it be a talking or moving colour gift card, a disposable timer on a package, a patient monitoring blisterpack or an electronic poster, 20-60% of the cost can be in discrete batteries, loudspeakers, microphones, capacitors, resistors and other conventional components. The clumsy interconnects to the silicon chip that these necessitate add failure modes as well.
Yet most developers of TFTCs are not responding to this fact because they do not realise its importance or they feel that optimising and productionising TFTCs is quite enough to be getting on with for now. This attitude should perhaps be reviewed because we suspect that TFTCs and low cost printed displays may tackle only a minority of the available market at the right cost for very high volume sales, whereas codeposition of many conventional components may be a far bigger breakthrough in commercial terms. So far we have only identified some half hearted codeposition of capacitors and resistors in the laboratories of developers but it is, of course, possible that some proponents are keeping such work secret.
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