EE Product News

Flex Your Displays

At the recent USDC/Needham & Company Display Industry Investors Conference, I was treated to a full day of presentations on display technologies. None was more interesting than the one from a company called Plastic Logic, a maker of flexible active matrix displays. In trying to help the audience understand the technology, Stuart M. Evans, CEO and co-founder of the company, showed a clip from the movie Minority Report.

In the clip, you see a man riding on a subway train reading a copy of USA Today. But the newspaper is not static, it is actually showing a video clip on the front page. While the man is reading the page, the Tom Cruise character, John Anderton, sits across from him. Then the newspaper updates itself to the breaking news about Anderton being wanted by the "pre-crime" cops. His picture automatically appears on the front page, and the guy reading the newspaper looks up and sees Anderton sitting across from him. Neat.

As for the company, it is developing a new technology for manufacturing electronics using printing and other direct-write techniques on flexible substrates. Printed electronics circuits are made up of the same elements, namely transistors and metal connections between them, and essentially offer similar functionality as conventional silicon-based integrated circuits and electronics. The company claims that the performance of plastic electronics today is broadly comparable to amorphous silicon (a-Si), the standard backplane technology for flat panel displays. I don't think we'll be reading a plastic newspaper anytime soon, but if you want to learn more about Plastic Logic's technology, point your browser to

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Company: Penton Media Inc.

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TAGS: Components
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