Printing is an often overlooked area when people think of high tech, but some of the highest technology is found there. I'm not just talking about all the excitement from advances in digital printing or flexographic printing, for example. I'm talking about the world of electronics coming to printing. The opportunities started to come into view many years ago when conductive inks were developed for simple structures such as antennas for RFID tags or other electronic article surveillance (EAS) applications. Then conductive polymers were developed which led some companies to explore other variations of printed electronics or electronics integral with packaging. Transistors were printed and demonstrated, but there were limits to what could be achieved with conductive polymers and inks. Many tried printed electronics, but face painful barriers. Matching the opportunities afforded by silicon just seemed out of reach.
Now comes printed circuits made of - you guessed it (wait, did you??) - silicon itself. Read "With New Silicon-based Inks, Kovio Is Poised to Make Gins in Printed Electronics" and read their press release announcing the world's first RFID system with silicon-based inks.
Friends of mine in the RFID world say Kovio's technology is fascinating. Hats off to the Kovio team for some added excitement in the world of printing. Let's stay tuned to see where this technology and competitive technologies go.