Researchers in Europe recently announced at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference that the world’s first flexible and organic microprocessor has been developed.
The new technology is environmental friendly and biodegradable. One of its expected uses are cheaper computer displays that can even be flexed to provide a new kind of visual experience.
The flexible, one-of-a-kind processor was created by Imec, a Belgian nanotech research center. Jan Genoe and fellow colleague Kris Myny explained during the conference that the biggest hurdle was figuring ways to control the organic transistors.
Flexible, organic chips have long been on technology’s to-do list, but coaxing consistency out of organic transistors has been something of a chore. Organic transistors lack the monocrystalline structure of silicon, which makes their behavior somewhat unpredictable–each one can have a slightly different voltage threshold–an undesirable characteristic for a transistor to possess.
Imec’s new flexible microprocessor could lead to an exciting range of applications. If wrapped around pipes it could record water pressure, or it may be used to package food and pharmaceuticals and could indicate whether your meat is rancid or even if you forgot to take your medication.