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Injket printers squirt out flexible memory for smart tags

Next-generation smart tags could be produced using memory that is made not from silicon, but instead is squirted out of an inkjet printer.

The notion of printing memory comes from Nissan Chemical Industries and Kyushu University, who have come up with a memory material made by spraying polystyrene and gold dust nanoparticles onto a flexible substrate like paper or plastic film.

Even though gold dust is involved, the resulting storage is just 10% the price of a silicon equivalent. Admittedly, there is no fair comparison right now, as the new substance stores data at just 2.5kbits per square centimeter.

Naturally, the device requires more than just a surface and some special ink – electrodes and transistors come into the picture too – but Nissan Chemical says it could have something commercial ready in 2010 or 2011.

At first, that’s likely to be tags sprayed onto food packaging for inventory management and tracking. After that, if the researchers can get the data density high enough, who knows what this new kind of bendy memory could be used for?

(Via Nikkei [Subscription link])

08:18 PM JMLH • Permalink
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