Last week the annual IDTechEx Printed Electronics
event was held in the heart of Silicon Valley in California. Almost 1200 people attended the conference and 49,000 square-foot exhibition. Much more pronounced this year compared to last year was the greater number of attendees from end user companies. For example, organizations such as Coca-Cola
, Procter & Gamble
sent multiple attendees.
The event opened with end users from many different industries discussing their needs and experiences with the technology. Boeing
spoke of their many needs for printed electronics in aircraft - to reduce weight, maintenance and cost. In one of their first uses of printed electronics, their new 747-8 plane now incorporates a partly printed bird strike damage detection sensor. Mike Londo of the $6 Billion packaging
spoke of many examples of electronics in packaging, from scrolling displays to sandwiches which play a tune when the package is opened to anti counterfeiting features in packaging. Other presenters included JCDecaux
, the advertising media company, Crayola
, Kraft and the US Military.
Dr Peter Harrop of IDTechEx showed the booming printed electronics markets at many price points, as shown below. In 2010, the value of the printed electronics market is just under $2 billion according to IDTechEx, with printing only being used in a minority of applications, growing to $56 billion in 2020, where printing is dominate. IDTechEx pointed out the huge range of materials, manufacture methods and components now available, but there are few who are making complete working products - a large opportunity for companies to tackle. IDTechEx also feels the industry needs to address the creation of universal hardware platforms in order to increase volume and reduce cost. In the same way that platforms exist in the conventional silicon world for interfaces such as WiFi communications, timers
etc, basic platforms are needed in printed electronics which include timers, RFID
, display controllers etc. These can be used as needed to create many different devices for diverse applications.
There were many new announcements at the show, highlights include:
The fourth annual printed electronics
winners were announced on Dec 1st at the IDTechEx Awards Dinner. The awards recognize outstanding progress in the development and commercialization of printed electronics, an industry that produces a huge amount of technical innovation which will be used in many products. The entries were judged by an eminent panel comprising of Dr Steven Novack, Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
, USA; Professor Iain McCulloch, Imperial College London
, UK and Professor Vivek Subramanian, University of California, Berkeley
Best Technical Development Materials Award - IBM
Best Technical Development Manufacturing Award - AIXTRON
Best Product Development Award - T-ink
Best Commercialization Award - E-Ink Holdings, Inc
The Best in Show Awards were voted for by attendees. NovaCentrix had provided each attendee with printed copper oxide ink, and on the show floor their tool was used to reduce this to conductive copper traces.
The annual IDTechEx Printed Electronics
Europe 2011 event will be held in Dusseldorf, Germany, on April 5-6. It is Europe's largest event on the topic and will move the topic forward by covering perspectives from many new end users, and the latest progress with the technology. Registration is now open - book early for the best rates. For more details please see www.IDTechEx.com/peEUROPE
. The event features tours to local organizations involved in the topic, including the Metro Future Store.