Princeton University

School of Engineering & Applied Science

Advanced mixed-mode design in thin-film technologies at imec

Florian De Roose, imec
E-Quad B205
Thursday, February 11, 2016 - 3:00pm

At the Thin-Film Electronics (TFEL) group of imec, Belgium, considerable research is done on systems on foil, in cooperation with many industrial partners. Research topics vary from technology development, circuit design and system integration. This talk will cover three topics in thin film design: imagers, displays and circuits. Large area imagers are commonly used in digital X-ray imaging for i.e. medical applications and inspection, where using lenses and focusing is not possible. They do however have big challenges to read out large arrays. Our group has shown that both speed and resolution can be increased by using an active pixel scheme rather than a traditional 1T1C pixel. Furthermore, speed can be further increased by operating the active pixel in a current mode. In displays there is an ever bigger push to go to higher resolution display with lower power consumption. AMOLED displays offer great contrast and significant power savings, but there are still disadvantages. A lot of power, for example, is lost in the drive TFT of the pixel. We propose to use an advanced digital PWM system to minimize power consumption and to maximize the possible attainable resolution. Also from the circuit perspective, there is a lot of potential with TFT circuits. Our group is very actively working on digital blocks, with a main focus on achieving an NFC chip, compatible with the readout that is commonly foreseen in smartphones. We will discuss techniques to reach the high speeds required for NFC, as well as techniques to lower power consumption. Furthermore we will discuss print programmable memory, an essential tool to customize the individual tags after fabrication.