Stretching electronics

Stretch: EE Times cover, 22 September 2008.I’ve been interested in on-chip and chip-to-chip communications for many years, partly because optics looked likely to be an important technology in this area, and partly because dense interconnectivity is important for neural systems. However, you may be interested in an advance in interconnects for a different purpose: allowing electronics to stretch and conform. The UIUC team that did the work have used it to build a hemispherical detector, and the technology may well have an important impact on wearable sensors and actuators.

One of the impressive things about this work is how quickly it’s evolved: in the space of a couple of years they’ve gone from lines of silicon with a little give, to fully-functional very-stretchable circuits and systems. Not surprisingly, the team have already started up a company to exploit the new technology.

I know I’m not the first to write about this work, but the other stories I’d read didn’t really explain the technology or the importance to any serious extent. I hope you like the piece.

Photo: EE Times cover on 22 September 2008.