Flexible 8-bit processor

Seiko Epson has developed what it claims is the world’s first flexible 8-bit asynchronous microprocessor using low-temperature polysilicon thin-film transistors (LTPS-TFTs) on a plastic substrate.

The new device sports 32,000 of the LTPS TFTs, a gate length of 4um and is compatible with the company’s S1C88 8-bit microcomputer series.

Just 200um thick, it weighs 140 mg and runs at a clock speed of 500kHz when powered from a 5V supply. It consumes just 180uA.

It was manufactured using new technology called SUFTLA – for surface-free technology by laser annealing – that the company already put to good use in the manufacture of liquid crystal displays (LCDs).

Specifically, the technology was developed to enable the transfer of thin-film devices from an original substrate to another substrate by using laser irradiation.

The results of Epson’s research were announced at ISSCC2005, the International Solid-State Circuit Conference, held earlier this month in San Francisco in the US.

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