A Cambridge University start-up company called Plastic Logic received a $100 million investment to build world's first plastic semiconductors plant in Dresden, Germany.
The fab should by ready by the end of 2008 and will employ 140 people. Plastic Logic will produce chips with layers of circuitry on plastic substrates, rather than silicon wafers. This new technology from Plastic Logic should make it a lot cheaper to manufacture semiconductors.
The initial products from the factory will be pieces of plastic about A4 size. The basic plastic substrate will be polyethylene terephthalate, a form of plastic used to make drinks bottles.
“I would not be surprised if Prof Sirringhaus gets a Nobel prize for his achievements in this technology,” says Mr Hauser.
By 2009 the Dresden plant should be producing 2.2m units of A4-size semiconductor sheets a year. They will initially be used as flexible “control circuitry” for large displays the size of a piece of paper that can hold large amounts of information – equivalent to thousands of books.
The displays will most likely be made by other electronics companies, with Plastic Logic providing the crucial control circuitry and possibly licensing its designs.