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December 1, 2006

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East Germany set for site of new flexible matrix plant

Plastic Logic (Cambridge, England), a developer of an industrial-scale process for printing electronic circuits on plastic substrates, will construct a factory to produce display modules for portable electronic reading devices in so-called “Silicon Saxony”, a center of the IT sector in and around Dresden, Germany. The plant, which will have an initial capacity of more than one million display modules/yr, is set to start production next year.

The company estimates this technology, which consists of thin, robust, active-matrix displays enabling a reading experience claimed to be closer to paper than any other technology, should grow in demand to 41.6 million units by 2010. The electronic devices are fabricated from thin film transistors (TFT) using semiconducting, flexible polymer materials that can be deposited from a solution onto a flexible plastic substrate, such as PET film, allowing the devices to be printed. An array of pixel electrodes where the voltage on each pixel is controlled by an active electronic component, usually a TFT, is displayed as letters, symbols, and pictures.

Plastic Logic is a Cambridge University spin-off and is backed by BASF (Ludwigshafen, Germany), Dow Chemical (Midland, MI), Siemens (Munich, Germany), and Nanotech Partners, an organization funded by Mitsubishi (Tokyo, Japan), along with a number of investment banks.—[email protected]

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