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Thinfilm Unlocks Encrypted Market With New Printed Memory


Thinfilm launches printed memory for secure documents and high-volume consumer applications.

LOPE-C, Frankfurt - Thin Film Electronics ASA (“Thinfilm”) today launched the Thinfilm Passive Array MemoryTM, a fully printed non-volatile rewriteable memory suitable for secure documents. The capacity is doubled compared to Thinfilm’s standard memory. “With higher storage capacity, information can be encoded. This unlocks markets and opens up for new applications, such as secure documents, for our roll-to-roll printed memories,” says Dr. Davor Sutija, Thinfilm CEO.

World’s first printed passive array memory

The passive array architecture separates the memory from the read/write electronics and dispenses with the need for active circuitry within the memory array and memory cell. “This is the world’s first printed memory array for high-volume manufacturing and consumer applications”, Sutija continues.

Thinfilm’s roadmap is expanded from stand-alone memories to also include printed electronic system products.

“This is a major milestone,” he says. “The passive array memory is an important stepping stone both towards developing low-cost ubiquitous consumer electronics and in creating higher density printed memories suited for high-volume production.”

2011 and 2012 roadmap for Thinfilm memory products:

Thinfilm MemoryTM: 20-bit single-line memories are commercially available. Suitable for consumer applications, such as toys and games and info-kiosks.
Thinfilm Passive Array MemoryTM: 40-bit memories are in test production, and engineering samples will be available later this year. Higher density memories are under development, with planned production in 2012 (up to 121 bits per memory array). Meets the needs of secure archiving, ticketing, and other applications that demand encryption or user-programmed stored IDs.
Thinfilm Addressable MemoryTM: Prototypes will be ready during 2011. Transfer to production is expected in 2012 (up to 128 bits). Enables printed systems, such as ID tags, sensor tags, disposable price labels, and other smart tags.

Allows higher density memories

Efficient writing and reading of data to memory cells in an array is an essential part of Thinfilm’s unique patent portfolio for ferroelectric polymer-based memories. “Our patented array architecture makes high density printed memories possible,” says Christer Karlsson, Thinfilm CTO. “Storage capacity for passive array memories depends on how fine you print. High-volume roll-to-roll printing techniques are rapidly evolving and will soon enable compact memories with higher densities than today’s roll-to-roll printed memory.” The new Thinfilm Passive Array Memory uses the same design rules and can be produced using the same roll-to-roll equipment and processes as the current 20 bit single line Thinfilm Memory in production today.

Milestone towards printed systems

Together with PARC, a Xerox Company, Thinfilm is prototyping addressable array memories that include printed transistors, the Thinfilm Addressable Memory, where the transistors drive logic for reading and writing data to the memory cells.

The addressable memory uses similar array architecture as the Thinfilm Passive Array Memory. “Thinfilm Addressable Memory is pivotal for creating printed systems because it enables integration of other printed components,” says Sutija. Sensors, displays, and antennas are examples of components that can be integrated with the addressable memory to create fully printed systems. “This opens for ID tags, sensor tags, disposable price labels, and other smart tags produced at only a fraction of the cost of conventional silicon based electronics,” Sutija continues.


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