A summary of the awards and winners are:
- Technical Development Manufacturing - American Semiconductor
- Technical Development Materials - Flectrode Technology, Ltd. / Mind Technology Development, Ltd.
- Best Product - PragmatIC
Technical Development Manufacturing - American Semiconductor
In 2019, American Semiconductor, Inc. (ASI) installed the world’s first advanced packaging facility for Semiconductor-on-Polymer™ (SoP) Chip Scale Package (CSP) manufacturing in Boise, ID. SoP CSP is used to produce thin, flexible high-performance silicon integrated circuits (ICs) which, when combined with printed electronics, enables high performance, hybrid printed electronics.
The new production capacity provides ultra-thin packaged ICs that enable electronics to be applied in applications never before possible for IoT, Consumer wearables, Automotive, Appliances, Healthcare and Logistics. ASI’s new facility also expanded capabilities for automated production assembly of chip on flex and advanced Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE) systems. Initial capability includes 50/50-micron pitch interconnects that are individually smaller than the cross-section of a human hair.
One of the judges commented, “The American Semiconductor team’s work is unique (processes and tools to handle ultra-thin chips are rare), and already accomplished. This will serve many industries."
Technical Development Materials - Flectrode Technology, Ltd. / Mind Technology Development, Ltd.
Flectrode & MindTech have successfully developed novel Transparent Conductive Films (TCFs) with embedded metallic structure, achieving high optical transparency (up to 90%) and low sheet resistance (down to 0.1 ohm/sq). This technology can enable high-performing TCFs used in many emerging electronic fields, such as automotive navigation head-up display (HUD), Micro-LED, OLED, flexible display, EMI Shielding, 5G antenna and transparent window-heater applications.
To be specific, Flectrode & MindTech’s novel TCF technology can achieve ultra-fine line widths as narrow as 2 microns, which surpasses the line-width level of most existing metal-mesh production processes. In general, the narrow line-width makes it possible to get higher transparency.
Another feature of Flectrode & MindTech’s technology is the ability to control the aspect ratio of embedded metal grid. That is of vital importance because it means increased conductivity can be achieved by fabricating a deeper (not wider) track, which is a new way to improve the electronical conductivity without sacrificing optical transparency. More importantly, the embedded metal network ensures a smooth surface finishing and the proprietary microanchoring design enhances overall reliability in terms of material compatibility and mechanical properties. Flectrode & MindTech’s novel TCF can pass tough reliability tests like damp-heat (85 deg C/ 85 RH%) test for 1,000 hrs, as well as thermal shock test for 40 hrs. These test results are significant for potential application in sensors or window-heating use in automotive.
The established RFID market was reported to be over 10 billion units in 2018, and is expected to grow to nearly 100 billion/yr in the next decade. PragmatIC won the award for best product, which is an ultra-low-cost technology that has the potential to increase the addressable market by an order of magnitude or more. Indeed, within only 2 months of the ConnectIC product launch, PragmatIC received orders for over 20 million units from customers in Europe, North America and Asia.
They have continued to receive even larger orders from a range of multinational organizations across diverse markets, looking to add traceability and interactivity to their mass market products. One key application area for ConnectICs is healthcare. PragmatIC is working closely with Quality Hospital Solutions and the NHS3 on a project to track pathology samples in the northeast of the UK. If rolled out nationally, this approach has the potential to save the NHS around £400 million per year. Other healthcare applications include the tracking of pharmaceuticals to ensure appropriate control over their use. PragmatIC has also worked with the UK Government on the application of ConnectICs to smart waste management, enabling tracking of items right up to the point of disposal or recycling. In a related project, the Tire Recovery Assn. and one of its members demonstrated how ConnectICs can simplify the recovery of 40 million used tires in the UK with “a quantum leap forward for traceability."
A judge reported “PragmatIC’s low-cost flexible solution sounds like it is a key to unlock the next steps in the printed and flexible electronics market. Their work on waste recycling is a valuable step in the reduction of unnecessary waste.”
The four eminent judges of the awards were:
- Jonas Vandercruys, Global Packaging Development Engineer, AB-Inbev, Belgium
- Thomas Morel, R&D Custom Solutions Director, JCDecaux, France
- Dr. Diego Bagnis, Chief Scientific Officer, CSEM, Brazil
- Dr. Sameh Dardona, Assoc. Dir.-Research & Innovation, United Technologies Research Center, USA
The next IDTechEx Show! will be held Berlin, Germany, on May 13-14, 2020. For more details, visit www.PrintedElectronicsEurope.com
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