Thin Film Electronics ASA

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Thin Film Electronics ASA
Allmennaksjeselskap
Traded as OSE: THIN
Industry Printed electronics
Founded 2005 (2005)
Headquarters Oslo, Norway
Key people
Davor Sutija (CEO)
Morten Opstad (Chairman)
Products Near Field Communication (NFC) tags, SaaS Cloud marketing platform
Website www.thinfilmnfc.com

Thin Film Electronics ASA (Oslo Stock Exchange : THIN) is a Norwegian printed electronics company, headquartered in Oslo with its main R&D offices in Linköping, Sweden and San Jose, California, United States. Thin Film Electronics ASA ("Thinfilm") maintains an NFC Innovation Center at its San Jose, California location, and also has sales offices in San Francisco, Scandinavia, United Kingdom, Shanghai, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Thinfilm produces rewriteable non-volatile memories based on ferroelectric polymers using roll-to-roll printing and labels based on Near Field Communication (NFC) technology.

Thinfilm offers several products that leverage printed electronics technology, including NFC SpeedTap(tm), NFC OpenSense(tm), EAS (electronic article surveillance) tags, and temperature-sensing smart labels. In February 2017, Thinfilm launched its CNECT(tm) Software Portal, a multi-tenant cloud-based platform that integrates with its NFC SpeedTap and OpenSense tags.

Thinfilm has been developing memories based on polymer materials since 1994; first as part of Opticom ASA and then as an independent company. For the first ten years, the focus was on hybrid memory devices with polymer-based memory and silicon-based control circuitry, as developed jointly with Intel.[1] From 2006, Thinfilm has concentrated its efforts on printed electronics.

Thinfilm successfully demonstrated roll-to-roll printed organic memory in 2009, and was awarded IDTechEx Technical Development Manufacturing Award the same year.[2][3][4][5]

In September 2012, Thinfilm was selected by web 2.0 blog GigaOM as one of its Top 15 Mobile companies that are changing or could potentially change the mobile landscape in a significant way.[6]

In January 2014 Thinfilm acquired the assets of Kovio and opened the Thinfilm NFC Innovation Center in San Jose.[7]

Thinfilm NFC mobile solution as implemented by Barbadillo for its "Tap & Win" marketing campaign
Bodegas Barbadillo has implemented Thinfilm's NFC solution for its "Tap & Win" marketing campaign.

Technology[edit]

Thinfilm's printed NFC products feature "PDPS" (printed dopant polysilicon) technology based on a hybrid manufacturing process that leverages print methods in key process steps. By combining conventional fabrication techniques with functional printing, the process is optimized for high throughput, low-cost production without sacrificing device performance. The high-mobility silicon inks used in the manufacturing process ensure critical circuit performance at the RF frequencies used in Thinfilm's NFC products.

For Thinfilm Memory(tm), the ferroelectric polymer is sandwiched between two sets of electrodes in a passive matrix. Each crossing of metal lines is a ferroelectric capacitor and defines a memory cell. This gives a non-volatile memory comparable to ferroelectric RAM technologies and offer the same functionality as flash memory.[8]

Thinfilm's patented passive matrix dispenses with the need of active circuitry within the memory cell. It allows the memory to be separate from the read/write electronics enabling stand alone application without integration with printed logic. The passive array memory architecture also enables high density memories as well as the possibility to stack memory layers on top of each other.

The printed memory technology was licensed to Xerox in December 2014 and marketed as of June 2016 as Xerox Printed Memory.[9]

In October 2013, Thinfilm produced the first ever electronically printed stand-alone sensor system. The sensor was built in the form of a temperature tracking label and is expected to go into production in Q4 of 2015.

In February 2015, Thinfilm demonstrated a connected "smart bottle" at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. This announcement coincided with the launch of NFC OpenSense(tm), Thinfilm's patent-pending printed sensor tags that provide smartphone-centric readability before and after a product is opened.

Partnerships[edit]

Thinfilm is working with PARC, a subsidiary of Xerox, to combine its memory technology with PARC's printed transistor technology to enable fully printed memory systems.[10][11] In October 2011, Thinfilm together with PARC announced a working prototype of the world's first printed non-volatile memory device addressed with complementary organic circuits, the organic equivalent of CMOS circuitry.[12][13][14]

Thinfilm and PARC announced in June 2012 that they will jointly manufacture a printed temperature sensor tag using Thinfilm's Addressable Memory technology. Both parties are also working together to develop electronic displays that would combine printed sensors, memory modules and batteries.[15][16]

Other printed systems currently in development with Thinfilm and its partners will be used in food manufacturing to monitor temperature of temperature-sensitive fresh produce.[17] The first temperature sensor packaging project to be announced by Thinfilm is a partnership with U.S. packaging giant Bemis Company, the agreement will lead to the development of a flexible sensing platform for the packaging market.[18]

In December 2012, Thinfilm announced that it has entered into a commercial agreement with the American toy and board game company Hasbro, to supply printed electronic components for their range of products.[19] In March/April 2014, Thinfilm announced key partnerships with go-to-market partners Temptime and Paksense to bring its temperature sensor smart label to the pharmaceutical and perishable foods industries, respectively.

In January 2015, the company announced a partnership with Xerox, which licensed Thinfilm's technology to manufacture Thinfilm Memory(tm) labels.[20] Xerox is modifying a plant in Webster, NY to manage production. In September 2015, Xerox launched two new products featuring Thinfilm Memory.

Since the launch of NFC OpenSense technology at Mobile World Congress in February 2015, Thinfilm has announced several other partnerships to implement its NFC Solutions including: Ypsomed, Bodegas Barbadillo, Hopsy, Maria&Donato, Sarine, Bedford Industries, Jones Packaging, Arc (Leo Burnett Worldwide), Northern Lights Spirits, Arcus (company), Korean Red Cross, Oskar Blues Brewery, Caliva, Coronado Brewing Co., Charming Trim, Cratus Technology, Valmont Cosmetics.

Awards[edit]

Thinfilm Electronics has won a number of awards for innovation and technical development since first demonstrating roll-to-roll printing of electronics in 2009. In 2010 Frost & Sullivan awarded the New Product Innovation Prize in Printed Electronic Memories to Thinfilm for its unique non-volatile, printable, polymer-based memory products.[21]

In 2012 Thinfilm Electronics was awarded both the IDTechEx Product Development Award and the FlexTech Alliance Innovation Award for its Addressable Memory technology built in association with PARC.[22][23] Also in late 2012, Thinfilm was named as a runner-up in the Wall Street Journal Technology's Innovation Award.[24]

In October 2012 it was announced that the company had won the 2012 World Technology Award for Visionary Contribution to Materials Science and Technology in the development of printed smart tags for the Internet of Things.[25]

In 2014, Thinfilm was named "All-Star Innovator" for its NFC Smart Label product by PharmaManufacturing.com. In the same year, the company was also recognized a winner in the “M2M, Internet of Things, Sensors, RFID and NFC” category of CTIA’s annual Emerging Technology (E-Tech) Awards competition.

In September 2016, IoT Evolution World and IoT Evolution Magazine, awarded their 2016 IoT Evolution Asset Tracking Awards to Thinfilm for innovative excellence in utilizing IoT technologies to automate and optimize asset tracking functions.

In September 2017, Thinfilm and Coronado Brewing Company's "Smart Coaster" Campaign earned the 2017 Smarties(tm) Award from the Mobile Marketing Association in the "Internet of Things - Products in the Market" category.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Doubles its stake in 'Flash killer' Polymer RAM producer The Inquirer, 27 June 2001
  2. ^ Thinfilm and InkTec awarded IDTechEx' Technical Development Manufacturing Award IDTechEx, 15 April 2009
  3. ^ PolyIC, ThinFilm announce pilot of volume printed plastic memories EETimes, 22 September 2009
  4. ^ All set for high-volume production of printed memories Printed Electronics World, 12 April 2010
  5. ^ Thin Film Electronics Plans to Provide ‘Memory Everywhere’ Printed Electronics Now, May 2010
  6. ^ "The Mobile 15: Our picks for the most innovative companies". GigaOM. Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  7. ^ http://www.thinfilm.no/investor-relations/market-announcements/page/6/
  8. ^ Printed non-volatile rewritable ferro-electric memories EETimes, July 2011
  9. ^ "Printed Memory Labels". Xerox Corporation. 10 January 2015. Retrieved 13 June 2016. 
  10. ^ Thinfilm Works with PARC to Develop Next-Generation Printed Memory Solutions Printed Electronics Now, 13 October 2010
  11. ^ Thinfilm, PARC team on polymer memory EETimes, 13 October 2010
  12. ^ New printed chip could spark cheaper sensor networks GigaOm, 20 October 2011
  13. ^ Printable transistors usher in 'internet of things' The Register, 20 October 2011
  14. ^ Researchers Couple Printed Logic with Printed Memory Technology Review, 26 October 2011
  15. ^ Printed revolution coming to electronics technology Mercury News, 20 March 2012
  16. ^ Why Use Silicon? Forbes, 6 July 2012
  17. ^ One giant leap for electronics in printed form FoodManufacture, 11 June 2012
  18. ^ Thinfilm Pairs Up With Packaging Giant Bemis To Create Labels That Know Things Forbes.com, 10 July 2012
  19. ^ "Hasbro and Thinfilm enter into commercial agreement". Printed Electronics World. Retrieved 20 December 2012. 
  20. ^ Thinfilm teams with Xerox so it can print a billion chips a year for the IoT Venture Beat, Jan 2015
  21. ^ "Frost & Sullivan Award Commends Thin Film for New Product Innovation". Frost & Sullivan. Retrieved 18 October 2012. 
  22. ^ Printed Electronics Europe 2012 Awards IDTechEx, 3 April 2012
  23. ^ FlexTech Alliance Announces 2012 FLEXI Award Winners FlexTech, 8 February 2012
  24. ^ "Thinfilm Named Runner-up for Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Award". Reuters.com. Retrieved 16 October 2012. 
  25. ^ "Thinfilm Wins 2012 World Technology Award". Reuters. 

External links[edit]