The judges of the awards were Dr. Kenneth McGuire, Principal Scientist of Proctor and Gamble, and Dr. Jeroen Van den Brand, Program Director, Holst Centre TNO. The awards were presented by Raghu Das, CEO of IDTechEx, and Heidi Dohse, Senior Program Manager of Google.
The 2017 Award Winners include:
Best Academic Development: AXEL/ Seoul University
AXEL / Seoul University won this award for their work on developing fundamental and essential technologies to mass manufacture stretchable highly integrated circuits based on printing processes and hybridization of conventional electronics.
To produce a mechanically robust, high-performance stretchable system, the following sub-technologies were developed: Double-sided chip mounting and stretchable interconnection integration Printed stretchable silver interconnects with vertically wrinkled structure Printed rigid island strain-relief structures for strain control of chip periphery Stable chip bonding and soldering techniques Electrical with magnetically induced core-shell structure, which enables stable electrical performance even under large mechanical deformation All techniques are developed to integrate circuits and systems directly on both sides of a stretchable elastomer based on various printing processes, enabling large-area, low cost fabrication, without the need for vacuum processes and masks. Through the above technology, the organization is establishing a process platform for the production of stretchable electronic circuits and to expedite the early adoption of wearable patch type devices in various wearable applications and markets.
One of the judges reported, "The technologies presented are a very impressive innovation step forward in the base technologies for stretchable electronics devices. Also the fact that they are thinking and working already on upscaling is very much appreciated."
Technical Development Materials Award: CLEARink
Spun out of University of British Columbia in Vancouver, CLEARink's unique Total Internal Reflection (TIR) technology, together with a single particle electrophoretic ink made by Merck, has been publicly demonstrated for the first time this year.
The reflective color e-paper like displays were made with commercially available color filters, were running 33 frames/second video with 83% white state reflectance and 38% color reflectance and has gotten rave reviews. The transfer from lab to fab has just occurred and trial production has commenced at a LCD factory. Customers that evaluated the samples have pre-paid $3M for eSchoolbook and IoT applications to get access to first production run.
One of the judges reported, "[This] is a breakthrough that will enable a whole host of previously imagined products to become real. In a school, particularly those in developing countries, the ability to combine text and video in a low power, low cost display will be revolutionary. This building block may radically change both form factor and availability of interactive devices."
Technical Development Manufacturing Award: Eastman Kodak
Eastman Kodak has developed an additive, roll-to-roll manufacturing process to produce transparent planar antennas on flexible substrates. The copper micro-wire technology delivers very high conductivity in combination with high transparency, neutral color, and low reflectance. Inline processes also passivate the copper metal for corrosion prevention and add non-conducting features to further enhance the ability to hide antennas on surfaces where high optical performance is required.
The fabrication of optically transparent antennas greatly expands placement options to windows, displays, lighting and other glass surfaces. Eastman Kodak's optically transparent antennas are lightweight and conformable thus significantly increasing the number of new design options enabling connectivity with true covert placement capability.
One of the judges reported, "The proliferation of antennae in IoT will become problematic for many products that wish to maintain a clean, uncluttered appearance, driving demand for transparent antennas."
Best Product Award: Voltera
The winning product was given to Voltera for its Voltera V-One, a desktop PCB printer (see photo at top). By additively printing conductive ink, the V-One puts the power of a fabrication house on your desk. Developers can go from a concept on the computer to a functional board in hand in minutes. The printer has built-in, solder-paste dispensing and reflow functionality so that no hand-soldering or stencils are needed.