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FIBER COMPUTING

Objective

A wide variety of everyday objects consist of textile fibres (clothes, wallpapers, chairs). Their primary purpose is structural and aesthetic. Fibres can have added functions by the integration of computing power into the material that forms them.
The purpose of this project is to integrate this new dimension of functionality into fibres, thus turn everyday objects into artefacts. The initial step is selection of materials and development of fibres. The basic unit of computation, the transistor will be implemented into these fibres.
This is done using a novel technology for building transistors on an SOI structure in fibre form and releasing the structures to leave a free-standing flexible active device. Central processing units as well as sensors and memory could be integrated within one fibre by the interconnection of transistors. Computing fibres can be interwoven into everyday objects to create artefacts, which could be interconnected with each other or with their surroundings.

A wide variety of everyday objects consist of textile fibres (clothes, wallpapers, chairs). Their primary purpose is structural and aesthetic. Fibres can have added functions by the integration of computing power into the material that forms them.
The purpose of this project is to integrate this new dimension of functionality into fibres, thus turn everyday objects into artefacts. The initial step is selection of materials and development of fibres. The basic unit of computation, the transistor will be implemented into these fibres.
This is done using a novel technology for building transistors on an SOI structure in fibre form and releasing the structures to leave a free-standing flexible active device. Central processing units as well as sensors and memory could be integrated within one fibre by the interconnection of transistors. Computing fibres can be interwoven into everyday objects to create artefacts, which could be interconnected with each other or with their surroundings

OBJECTIVES
The objective of the FiCom project is to incorporate the computing power into materials that are shaped into fibres. Fibres either exist in the structure of, or can easily be implemented into objects. An ordinary object can be turned into an artefact that can compute, sense or remember with the incorporation of such fibres. It will create the fundamentals for the realisation of a literally disappearing computer and integrate information technology into everyday objects.

DESCRIPTION OF WORK
1. Selection of suitable materials for fibre production. Conventional semi-conducting materials will be examined in terms of the suitability of the project aims. Necessary modifications to device process technology will be performed in a co-development phase along with new fibre material development;
2. Fibres will be produced from selected materials with desired purity, electrical and physical properties. The best method for the creation of fibres and the manufacture of transistors on the fibres will be selected through experimental studies and trial technology developments;
3. Process technology experiments will be performed to determine the best way to use conventional planar process technology to build transistors on extruded fibres, which by definition have topographical and linear variations;
4. A new recently patented approach to the formation of fibre technologies will be investigated to determine the limits of the technology and its market potential;
5. A survey of what the market requires in terms of embedded electronics will be performed to establish the types of circuit that need to be designed and the constraints that are imposed upon the design process. Also some experimental prototypes will be fabricated with discrete components to establish a wearable electronics profile and to get feedback from the market place;
6. Circuit module designs constrained by the physical nature of the fibre will be performed and validated through circuit simulation;
7. Schemes for encapsulating the fibre and connecting it to the outside world will be evaluated as well as the determination of the most appropriate storage method for electronics fibres whilst they are awaiting use in the application.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE CORK - NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF IRELAND, CORK
Address
Western Road
Cork
Ireland

Participants (3)

ISD INTEGRATED SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT S.A.
Greece
Address
K. Varnali 22
15233 Halandri Athens
KSI KLAUS STEILMANN INSTITUT FUER INNOVATION UND UMWELT GMBH
Germany
Address
Lyrenstrasse 13
44866 Bochum
SWISS FEDERAL LABORATORIES FOR MATERIALS TESTING AND RESEARCH
Switzerland
Address
Ueberlandstrasse 129
8600 Duebendorf