A European start-up company is on its way to developing a microprocessor manufacturing technique that uses a flexible plastic material for the motherboard instead of the industry-standard silicon. A prototype plastic processor from Plastic Logic is expected by mid-2001.
UK-based Plastic Logic, which has patented a new type of plastic circuit, has received 1.75 million pounds ($US2.48 million) in start-up funding from Amadeus Capital Partners.
Plastic Logic invented the method of printing plastic onto a polymer substrate as a way to replace silicon chips for the transistors used in semiconductors, Amadeus said in a statement released earlier this week. Cambridge Research, Innovation and Dow Ventures are also investing in Plastic Logic, the company said.
Unlike silicon-based processors that are fabricated on brittle, flat wafers, Plastic Logic's fabrication process prints the chips on rolls of film that can be applied to a variety of surfaces, such as clothing.
Statements on the company's Web site show the Plastic Logic technology headed for relatively small-duty processing tasks, which include intelligent supermarket pricing labels.
According to representatives for Amadeus, the plastic chips are cheaper to produce than silicon chips.