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back to article Printable transistors usher in 'internet of things'

Thinfilm, a Norwegian developer of printable memory, has co-announced with California's PARC a development that takes a big step towards the day when every manufactured object will report in to the internet. Yes, the "internet of things" – the buzzword of the decade. Thinfilm and PARC's breakthrough is a technology that can …

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...wha..HUH! Is it still the 1960s?

Printable transistors?! Quick, wake up Stan Ovshinsky and tell him that the are finally printing transistors. Just as he promised. In 1964.

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Big Brother

You realize...

...that all ICs are is a large collection of very small transistors, right?

OK, so we're not talking nanometer process here - but we ARE talking about (eventually) about Marty McFly's self-resizing jacket. Possibly about the end of shoplifting (and equally possibly, the end of checkout registers in stores) - The items you think you're lifting will simply report themselves to the store system, your personal biometrics will be queried by the door as you exit, your identity established, and your bank account suitably debited.

Of course, that means that even the illusion of privacy will be extinct.

It also means that your car can rat you out every time you exceed a limit, that fines can be assesed 'on the fly,' that your underwear can tell your spouse that you've been banging someone else - and WHO that 'someone else' was...

Oh, yeah. Brave New World, indeed.

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'on the fly'

should be 'on the McFly', surely

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Now just imagine...

Now just imagine radio interfaces, solar panels and sticky surfaces all made in this technology. You could easily build a meshed network of routers which just sit on lamp-posts creating a censorship proof network.

Of course this is still a long way down the road, but if technology progresses in that direction we might get there.

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And led displays.

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A few cents per unit to manufacture?

So, if we compare that with financial transactions that should cost fractions of pennies, we can expect to pay £100s for the applications then?

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Thinfilm is a Swedish company

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re:

I don't think you're quite right...

http://www.thinfilm.se/career

"Thin Film Electronics ASA (”Thinfilm”) is a publicly listed Norwegian technology company with its head office in Oslo and product development in Linköping, Sweden"

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Eh?

I was doing thinfilm (beryllium substrate) back in 1979 ... Does anyone but me remember so-called "gold ball bonders"?

And no, I don't want all my "things" available to the world at large ...

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Anonymous Coward

"we got two kinds of teknology, nfc AND rfid, around here"

You can already make tags reasonably cheaply, yet uptake has been slower and generally more forced than the hype would suggest. Dropping the price further will likely increase uptake, sure, but how much is something else again. And, well, so far there's been an abundance of stupidity and entirely predictable security problems with this sort of thing. Like those rfid pressure sensors in tyres. "Wireless" is so seductively easy it causes its very own, very "special", classes of problems. And it'll will be a while before we'll catch on to it and learn to deal with it. Fun times ahead, fun times for the cheesehole-plugging "security" industry. But no comprehensive security solutions designed in right from the start though we know exactly what's gonna happen. Oh well, have fun then.

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Black Helicopters

Nagging

I can see everything I use, wear or consume nagging me. "this milk is passed its use by date" "your coat needs cleaning" etc. etc. probably via my mobile. It has to drive consumerism after all.

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Stop

They printed something that can hold 20-bits of read only data? Well I can print something that'll store more than that with my inkjet, it's called a barcode. Still a long way to go, I think.

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Sir

Along with this technology I hope someone bright can come up with a way of destroying these infernal things, like a suicide booth for tracking things.

You go out and buy loads of shit like a good consumer, are blissfully unaware your every movement is being tracked. But hey, what's that? Step right in, kkkkkkkzzzzzzap. All your printed tracking devices are belong to dead.

Grazio, I can walk my way down the street blissfully unaware I'm being tracked by 73 camera's all linked to a centralised database with facial recognition.

I'm now flagged as a subversive, and they came for me in the dead of night.

Where's my tin-foil hat!? Where's my medication!! MATRON!!!!

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OLED?

Forgive me, but I thought that OLED display screens were printed circuitry, at a much higher density than this? Hundreds of thousands of polymer light emitters and thousands (at least) of transistors addressing them.

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Meh

So what?

Everyone whose tried this has trouble getting (IIRC) transistors much above about 5Mhz,

Now it's *not* the processor that's the problem. That's smart card territory. But

"Connected to the internet"

It's the *RF* link. WiFi? GPS enablement? 3G?

Try NFC.

Electron mobility is *the* key parameter here and since you can't do much of a device shrink ( the quick and dirty way to get a bit of extra speed) your materials properties have to be *phenomenal* .

But I bet they won't be quite that good.

1Ghz *printable* transistor. I think not.

Anyone remember the MIT Meja labs "Thinks that think?"

There are good ideas this technology *might* enable. Some of them I might pay for.

I doubt they will do any better than their (numerous) predecessors.

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Silicon transistors cheaper

It isn't really the cheapness of the transistors - If you need a lot of them you better go with silicon. It is really making something with big and robust contacts. A tiny silicon chip might actually be cheaper transistor-wise, until you figure in how to connect to it.

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Joke

Thin Film Transistors?

Didn't they make displays a few years back?

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