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The First Plastic Computer Processor

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processor made from organic materials

This microprocessor is made from organic materials. It is puny compared to most silicon processors, but is flexible and cheap.

Credit: IMEC

European researchers have developed a computer processor and memory chip made from plastic semiconductors. The researchers used 4,000 plastic transistors to create the plastic microprocessor, which is built on top of plastic foil. "Compared to using silicon, this has the advantage of lower price and that it can be flexible," says IMEC's Jan Genoe. The commands are coded into a second foil etched with plastic circuits that can be connected to the processor to load the program.

"There are research groups working on roll-to-roll or sheet-to-sheet printing, but there is still some progress needed to make organic transistors at small sizes that aren't wobbly," Genoe says. The researchers expect plastic processors to be used in applications where silicon is prohibited by cost or physical inflexibility.

University of Minnesota researchers recently developed a type of organic dynamic random access memory (DRAM), which works with the processor for short-term data storage. Organic, printed DRAM could be used for short-term storage of image frames in displays that currently are made with printed organic light-emitting diodes. That would enable more devices to be made using printing methods and eliminate some silicon components, reducing costs, says Minnesota researcher Wei Zhang.

From Technology Review
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Abstracts Copyright © 2011 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA



what about the heat elimination

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