Researchers at Arm and PragmatIC developed the first real microprocessor, which uses plastic (rather than silicon) as its base material. The 32-bit PlasticArm microprocessor concept is based on the company’s M0 design, with approximately 18,000 logic gates, a processor, memory, controller, and inputs and outputs. develop, Published in “Nature”, Will usher in a new era of truly bendable and flexible microchips whose production costs are also lower than silicon.
Since the Intel 4004 CPU was introduced more than 50 years ago, silicon has been an essential element of semiconductor manufacturing. This packed an astonishing 2,300 transistors at the time. The rise of silicon depends on two basic characteristics. First, it is the second most common element on earth (which means it is cheap and easy to obtain). The second is the ability to act as an energy conductor or energy insulator, which depends on its implementation.
However, Silicon does have some warnings, which are becoming increasingly limited in their scope of application. On the one hand, it is both fragile and rigid, which means that it cannot be easily integrated into actual biology-nature has a way of not enjoying straight lines when creating life. The second important caveat is that although its production cost may be cheap, it is certainly not cheap enough to be used in daily, consumable products in a cost-effective manner. Enter the PlasticArm development, which aims to make plastic a medium for building and processing chips, thereby bypassing these restrictions.
Please note that this is not a substitute for silicon. The researchers pointed out that silicon has advantages in performance, density, and power efficiency. On the contrary, these two technologies are expected to complement each other according to application requirements.
The researchers pointed out bottles (smart milk or juice bottles used to analyze whether the product has deteriorated), food packaging, clothing (imagine a sweater that can intelligently detect body temperature or external temperature and increase the space between the fibers for better results ) Possible applications. Cooling), wearable patches, bandages, etc. Other possible applications include biological monitors. Imagine placing a thin plastic film with computing power on internal organs or tissues for diagnosis and early signs of failure. Wearable electronic patches that can display information directly on your skin are another option, or less invasive diagnosis for wildlife monitoring.
Researchers predict that up to 100,000 logic gates can be expanded before power consumption becomes an issue and the manufacturing process requires additional materials. Even so, the test chip consumes only about 21 milliwatts of power—mostly wasted in idle state—and can easily provide solar cells smaller than a postage stamp. The final charging mechanism will focus on wireless charging technology to achieve a truly independent chip.
The PlasticArm prototype received further attention because it was manufactured using well-known techniques used in mainstream silicon manufacturing, allowing it to benefit from years of innovation.