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Opportunities in printed and organic electronics

9 March 2005 News

Want to set up a big shiny new silicon semiconductor factory? First find your US$2 billion. That is what it costs to build a modern plant today. Want to make a semiconductor factory turning out ICs built with printed circuitry? Well, you cannot: not quite yet, not commercially. But if your patience stretches until perhaps 2008, you could probably do it for $30 million or less.

So says ABI Research analyst Joshua Laurito, who believes that this is the kind of opening available to companies willing to invest in a new industry built around organic and printed electronics.

In ABI Research's new study, Printed & Organic Electronics, the potential markets and technologies for printed electronics are analysed. It reviews industries that have the potential to use printing as a manufacturing tool, such as the energy, RFID, and display industries. Buried in the depths of long-term research projects since their inception, printed and organic electronics are at last starting to emerge into the light of day, and the character of potential commercial products based on them is starting to become clearer.

Most of us have read 'future tech' articles describing 'electronic paper' and monitor displays you can roll up and stick in a pocket. Those are two of the highest-profile products that may come out of the printed electronics market, but by no means all. In fact printed antennas for RFID tags are already available, Philips is running a prototype industrial display printer in Europe, and a dozen companies make cellphone displays using organic (though not yet printed) circuitry.

According to Laurito, "At the end of the decade, the electronics industry is going to look quite different. With the radically lower cost of printed IC fabs, it is a chance for a lot of companies that have not been involved in semiconductors to make the jump."

www.abiresearch.com/reports/org.html





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