Demonstrating The Feasibility Of The Foundry Model For Flexible Thin-Film Electronics 


A technical paper titled “Multi-project wafers for flexible thin-film electronics by independent foundries” was published by researchers at KU Leuven and imec.


“Flexible and large-area electronics rely on thin-film transistors (TFTs) to make displays, large-area image sensors, microprocessors, wearable healthcare patches, digital microfluidics and more. Although silicon-based complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) chips are manufactured using several dies on a single wafer and the multi-project wafer concept enables the aggregation of various CMOS chip designs within the same die, TFT fabrication is currently lacking a fully verified, universal design approach. This increases the cost and complexity of manufacturing TFT-based flexible electronics, slowing down their integration into more mature applications and limiting the design complexity achievable by foundries. Here we show a stable and high-yield TFT platform for the fabless manufacturing of two mainstream TFT technologies, wafer-based amorphous indium-gallium-zinc oxide and panel-based low-temperature polycrystalline silicon, two key TFT technologies applicable to flexible substrates. We have designed the iconic 6502 microprocessor in both technologies as a use case to demonstrate and expand the multi-project wafer approach. Enabling the foundry model for TFTs, as an analogy of silicon CMOS technologies, can accelerate the growth and development of applications and technologies based on these devices.”

Find the technical paper here. Published April 2024. Read this related news article from KU Leuven.

Çeliker, H., Dehaene, W. & Myny, K. Multi-project wafers for flexible thin-film electronics by independent foundries. Nature 629, 335–340 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-024-07306-2

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