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An RFID revolution through thin-film plastic electronics?

Imec presents the world's first RFID tag with plastic IC and screen-printed antenna

World's first at RFID & Wireless IoT tomorrow 2017: Is printed RFID the next big thing? What business cases could tags for under 1 cent unlock? And how can scientific breakthroughs be transferred to industry applications? Research institute Imec will present potentially revolutionary achievements in printed electronics in the “standardisation & research” forum.

Event Info
09:00 AM - 05:00 PM
September 27th 2017
Dusseldorf, Germany

Breakthrough in commercially viable plastic RFID tags

Imec and its partners Quad Industries, Agfa, and TNO have demonstrated a research prototype of a plastic HF RFID tag with a screen-printed antenna. For the first time, thin-film plastic electronics comply with the ISO 14443A standard developed for silicon electronics. This means that the flexible, bendable tag can be read by NFC smartphones. The next goal: commercially viable UHF RFID tags in plastic technologies.

A solution for manufacturing billions of RFID tags?

What benefits do thin-film plastic electronics provide for RFID tags? Alexander Mityashin, Program Manager Thin-Film Electronics at Imec, outlines the future challenge for the RFID industry:

“Right now, the industry can not yet enable the most compelling business cases. In retail for example, there is automated delivery by drones, check-out free shopping, and smart shelves and fridges. All of these applications depend on item-level identification on an unprecedented scale: there are roughly 300.000 supermarket products sold every second. All silicon makers combined together wouldn’t be able to deliver that many RFID tags so quickly. There is a clear unmet demand.” - Alexander Mityashin, Program Manager Thin-Film Electronics, Imec

Plastic RFID tag without silicon chip or antenna bridge

Alexander Mityashin and his colleagues at Imec have developed a potential game-changer: In their new RFID tag, here is no traditional silicon chip. Instead, it is produced by applying thin-film transistors on plastic. The second innovation is the screen-printed antenna that does not require any crossover, or “bridge” component. This simplifies antenna manufacturing significantly, essentially reducing the process to printing one conductive layer. Based on their research, Mityashin and his colleagues estimate the cost of the plastic RFID tag to land well below 0.01 €.

Lecture in Forum 4 “standardisation & research”

On Developer Day, September 27th, Alexander Mityashin will hold a lecture titled “Printed RFID – science fiction or next big thing?” in Forum 4 - “Standardisation & Research”. How can printed electronics go from being a buzzword to being everyday reality? What are the implications of the latest achievements at Imec? How can new technologies be applied by industry partners?

Book your ticket now and don't miss the future of RFID and wireless technologies!

A full interview with Alexander Mityashin will soon be available at "RFID & Wireless IoT global".

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