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Printed electronic tag features rewritable memory

27 Dec 2012

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A proof-of-concept integrated printed electronic tag prototype based on rewritable memory has been released by printed electronics maker Thin Film Electronics ASA (Thinfilm). Consisting of printed memory, logic and sensor, the printed electronic label can detect if critical temperature thresholds have been exceeded and digitally records data for future display and retrieval.

Such labels can deliver item-level tracking of quality data for goods such as pharmaceuticals and perishable foods. The Thinfilm integrated system shows how low-cost, disposable printed electronic technology will provide information about product history based on data stored in Thinfilm Memory.

Thinfilm printed electronics

The low-cost integrated printed electronic tag captures data on temperature thresholds and is ideal for item-level tracking for pharmaceuticals and perishable goods.

Three different printed devices—memory, logic, and temperature sensor—were shown to work together sensing a temperature threshold and writing to memory. The gathered data triggered a display through external circuitry to illustrate the tags' expected commercial functionality. Integrating memory, logic, sensors and displays using printed circuitry is critical for the delivery of cost-effective, mass-produced printed electronic devices.

"The promise of printed electronics rests on its ability to catalyse the coming technology wave often referred to as the Internet of Things. The ability to store, process, and communicate local information makes ordinary objects aware of their environment. These smart objects become our agents, gathering actionable data, and displaying it when we need to get involved. Whether sensing temperature or communicating other hazards, Thinfilm sensor tags follow the product to the last mile, in applications where conventional electronic measurement systems often cannot be deployed, either because of cost or a lack of tailorability to individual product packaging," said Davor Sutija, CEO of Thinfilm.

Additional circuitry, including a timer function and wireless communication, will be added to the system. Commercial availability is expected by the end of 2014.

Video and additional photos from the demonstration can be found at Thinfilm's website:

Related stories:

Imprinted logic begins pilot line production

Mentor Graphics expands HyperLynx suite

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