Engineers have developed a flexible 32-bit microprocessor on a flexible plastic basis, which can open the path to the electronics of the new generation.
Despite the application in a variety of devices, all modern processors are made of solid silicon plates. The rigidity and fragility of chips does not allow them to be used to create more progressive smart products, such as smart clothes, packaging or native gadgets. The team of researchers from ARM decided to fix this by presenting a flexible analogue of a 32-bit microprocessor Cortex M0 +.
For the manufacture of the chip, they used metal oxide thin-film transistors with amorphous silicon and the base of elastic polymers. It includes ROM, RAM and interconnection.
In the first prototype microprocessor Plasticarm, engineers have placed registers used by the CPU, to the reserved part of RAM, only 128 bytes. Therefore, although it is capable of bending, but it works inefficiently, it is not enough and does not have a programmatic memory.
The team claims that so far only studied the possibility of creating an elastic microprocessor, and now, after a successful implementation, will go to the improvement of its technical characteristics.
According to them, in the near future, flexible microprocesses will be applied in trillions of products, ranging from smart clothes, measuring the indicators of the body’s vital activity, to packages with milk quality indicators, and stickers on the skin visualizing the current mood of the person.
Researchers from the University of Duke also work on solving the problem of flexible processors, but they decided to go to another way and created the first in the world.
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