UC Berkeley is now developing printed transistors at 180nm. The technology could deliver chips costing $25 a square meter, not the $25,000 per square meter of current processes, again a huge cost reduction that is mind boggling.
UPDATE – Here are some technical documents related to UC Berkeley’s work on printed transistors. I have not yet found a combination research work that states that they have 180nm printing transistors with $25 a square meter cost. There is one dissertation that talks about printing 200nm feature size transistors and another that talks about roll to roll printing larger transistors.
Janusz Bryzek of Fairchild Semiconductor thinks we are looking at a trillion (yes trillion) sensors and MEMS as the big driver. A trillion sensors will be where the Internet of Things takes off.
* The mobile market is the bullet train of MEMS and sensors. For example, the Samsung Galaxy S4 has eight sensors today and who know how many more in the next version.
* 3D printing and printed electronics have huge implications for IoT because sensors can be printed on anything (even your arm) and could become very cheap. Anybody see an inflection point there?
* Using microfluidics on paper opens up the possibility of a lab on a chip, which could change medical diagnostics forever. That’s going to generate huge amounts of data — and you can forget about the plastic bottle for samples!
* Printing sensors on skin is also a huge breakthrough and points to the fact that much of IoT will probably be triggered by medical applications which are sucking up a big chunk of our GDP these days. We need this technology now.