Electronic Design

Kovio Unveils Printed Silicon TFT

The privately-held, Sunnyvale-based Kovio Inc. introduced what it claims is the world’s first all-printed silicon thin-film transistor (TFT) at the IDTechEx Printed Electronics conference today. Kovio's technology is an alternative to etching an electronic circuit onto a silicon wafer. Instead, the company can print a circuit onto a thin piece of steel using inks made of silicon, doped silicon, metals, or insulators. What separates Kovio's TFTs from others made with organic or inorganic semiconductors is their mobility of 80cm2/Vs, which exceeds performance of other TFTs, according to the company. Kovio says the technology — which relies on inks and high-res graphics printing technologies — is cheaper than lithography-based semiconductor manufacturing. Applications of Kovio's new TFTs include low-cost RFID devices that can be used to tag items. Kovio has alreaday signed development agreements with Toppan Forms Co. and Cubic Transportation Systems. Toppan is a leader in printed electronics and digital information technologies, and Cubic provides automated fare collection for public transportation.

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