FLEXIBILITY is a VII Framwork EU Project.
It aims at significantly advancing the competitiveness of Europe in the area of multifunctional, ultra-lightweight, ultra-thin and bendable OLAE systems. The developed OLAE components include disposable and rechargeable batteries, solar cells, DC charging electronics, loudspeakers, audio amplifiers, analogue signal generators, motion and temperature sensors, RF receiver circuits, as well as a touch screen. By combination of these components, a variety of novel multifunctional OLAE systems is enabled. Based on a fully printed sound module, the following complex demonstrators are developed:
• Textile integrated audio module including broadcast radio and solar supply
• Active receiver tag for wireless streaming of acoustic data and advertising
• Security tag system with acoustic alarm, motion and/or temperature sensors
For the realisation of these systems, the advantages of several flexible OLAE technologies are combined, while keeping cost issues in mind: e.g. a) R2R printing offering ultra-low costs per area for components requiring large areas (e.g. loudspeaker, high-power audio amplifiers and solar cells), 3-D integration, as well as the integration of heterogeneous devices on one single substrate; and b) compact (down to 10 micrometer gate length), super-fast (> 200 MHz transit frequency, mobilities > 10 cm2/Vs), low-loss IGZO thin-film technology to enable wireless communication systems. To make efficient circuit development in standard CAD tools possible, design-kits including scalable models and automated layout templates are developed. Interface and packaging issues are studied for full system integration on a common flexible foil enabling bending radii down to 1 cm. FLEXIBILITY combines the complementary competences of 3 large companies, 4 SMEs, 1 research institute and 3 universities. Involved countries are Austria, Finland, Germany, Italy, Greece and Switzerland.
ETH is leader of Workpackage 4 and it is responsible of the design, fabrication and optimization of devices and circuits needed for the realization of flexible systems. The thin-film technology is optimized regarding high frequency operation enabling radio applications and wireless communications.
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