Feeds

Boffins build see-through chip

Transparently

The Power of One Infographic

Scientists at the Oregon State University (OSU) have produced the world's first "completely transparent" integrated circuit using inorganic materials. The see-through transistor technology will revolutionise electronics, allowing circuitry to be integrated into items like windows, bottles, glasses and car windscreens. It will also boost LCD technology, the researchers say.

oregon state university transparent chip

There's a way to go yet: the OSU team have to work on scaling the technology and building a p-channel transistor devices, necessary to reduce the power consumption to allow it to process both analogue and digital information. Fortunately, they characterised these efforts as "very feasible".

"We might be able to bring transparent integrated circuits to widespread use in five years or so, a process that took a couple of decades in the early evolution of conventional electronics," said OSU electrical engineering professor John Wager.

OSU's test chip contains a five-stage ring oscillator. It was made out of indium gallium oxide using conventional photolithography techniques, the processes used to make most of the world's silicon chips, Wager said.

The researchers believe the transparent chips will be very cheap to make - even to the point to replacing products that don't need to be see-through. The scientists raised the prospect of disposable devices made from transparent chips, though they didn't address the environmental impact of such a shift.

Still, the potential for building circuitry into transparent media is huge, if the team can take the technology further along the path to commercialisation. In that they'll have the help of HP, which earlier this year licensed the rights to bring the technique to market. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad
Apple's fondleslab is the tablet dermatitis sufferers won't want to take
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises
iOS/2 gear loaded with apps for big biz ... uh oh BlackBerry
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.