Today, at the International Electronics Devices Meeting, Holst Centre, imec
and TNO presented the world-first organic transponder circuit with a bit rate
of 50kbits/s. This bit rate approaches the requirements for the Electronic Product
Coding (EPC) standards.
Flexible circuits offer ruggedness during processing as well as in the final
product, a property which makes them appealing for new applications such as
plastic RFID tags (radio frequency identification tags) for object tagging.
However, for widespread application, plastic RFID technology should adhere maximally
to the standard Electronic Product Code (EPC) specifications for item-level
tagging. The standards require a bit rate of the order of 50 kb/s. Holst Centre,
together with imec and TNO, developed an 8-bit flexible transponder circuit
on foil using pentacene as semiconductor material and a high-k gate dielectric.
The current drive of this technology enables a data rate of > 50 kbits/s
for the circuit, which compares favorably with the above mentioned required
EPC bit rate specifications. Earlier versions of such organic circuits had a
bit rate limited to 1-2 kbits/s.
The Electronic Product Code or in short EPC standard has been developed for
wireless identification in high-volume logistics applications like retail. It
is widely used already today e.g. on pallet level logistics. The next step is
to use EPC tags on package level and on a longer term target on individual items
(“item-level tagging”). Organic electronic technology is a candidate
for high-volume and low-cost manufacturing of simple electronic circuits. The
new results demonstrate that the technology is now on the way to reach EPC compatibility.
Imec performs world-leading
research in nano-electronics. imec leverages its scientific knowledge with the
innovative power of its global partnerships in ICT, healthcare and energy. imec
delivers industry-relevant technology solutions. In a unique high-tech environment,
its international top talent is committed to providing the building blocks for
a better life in a sustainable society.
Imec is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, and has offices in Belgium, the Netherlands,
Taiwan, US, China and Japan. Its staff of more than 1,650 people includes over
550 industrial residents and guest researchers. In 2008, imec's revenue (P&L)
was 270 million euro.
Imec is a registered trademark for the activities of imec International (a
legal entity set up under Belgian law as a "stichting van openbaar nut”),
imec Belgium (imec vzw supported by the Flemish Government), imec the Netherlands
(Stichting imec Nederland, part of Holst Centre which is supported by the Dutch
Government) and imec Taiwan (imec Taiwan Co.).