Stefan SchubertProductivity Engineering GmbH
Challenges for integrated circuits on foil
Integrated circuits surround us 24/7 in differently flavored devices and applications. The Industry-4.0-initiative and the Internet-of-things (IoT) generate an additional high demand for integrated circuits, not being available off the shelf. These are so called Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASIC’s). PE GmbH serves these special needs. Electrical Engineers are very familiar with the physical properties of silicon-based semiconductor chips for more than 50 years. Billions of Microchips are being produced reliably year after year nowadays. New opportunities arise with the appearance of printed electronics or large area electronics. Thin layers of semiconductor, isolator and conductor materials are being deposited on top of plastic foil. Circuits designed this way behave „differently “. The diversity of circuit architectures and the resulting quality of the circuits is limited due to the lack of suitable materials in this technology and not comparable to the one in Silicon circuit design.
The presented project is supposed to show that it is possible to design usable circuits and manufacture them even with these limitations. Things taken for granted in Silicon technology had to be newly developed starting with new design kits and libraries in n-channel technology up to mastering challenges in the mounting and connectivity technology for the final chips. Performance of available on-chip devices is poor. They are slow and their statistical process deviations are large. Despite these bad preconditions the final circuitry has to fulfill specifications of the chosen communication standard. This presentation will give insights in all of these issues.