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© Parc Components | October 30, 2017

SEMI-FlexTech selects PARC to build ultra-thin, flexible speaker

FlexTech, a SEMI strategic association partner, has announced a new development project with PARC, to develop a hybrid, highly bendable, paper-like smart tag, incorporating a thin audio speaker.
The product is aimed at applications in packaging, wearables prosthetics, soft robotics, smart tags, and smart cities and homes.

PARC will use ink jet printing to build prototypes of the paper-like smart tags capable of producing audio signals, on a silver-printed polyethylene naphthalene (PEN) or polyimide (PI) substrate. The Xerox company will develop and demonstrate a process for bonding chips, and printing active and passive components, as well as interconnects on the flexible substrate. PARC will also focus on printing actuators to create thin film audio speakers.

“This new project is technically challenging because it combines a number of novel technologies needed to achieve stringent requirements, including the capability for a thin, paper-like film to produce clear speech audio. We are looking forward to the challenge and implications for commercial products,” said Bob Street, project technical lead at PARC.

In 2014, FlexTech awarded PARC with a project grant to develop printed sensors. Partly because of this work, it is now possible to print transistor circuits in a fully additive fashion, and to combine these with sensors, actuators and other electronic components.

“We have had a long, fruitful relationship with PARC and look forward to excellent results from this project which clearly advances innovation in flexible, printable electronics, enabling solutions that lead to safer, healthier lives,” said Melissa Grupen-Shemansky, CTO at SEMI-FlexTech. “In addition to pushing the boundaries in electronics, PARC pays attention to manufacturability and affordability, ensuring developments are scalable from R&D to production.”

FlexTech’s R&D program is supported by the US Army Research Laboratory (ARL).

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November 14 2017 8:30 PM V8.8.9-2