• Welcome to TechPowerUp Forums, Guest! Please check out our forum guidelines for info related to our community.

The First High-Yield, Sub-Penny Plastic Processor

Joined
Jan 5, 2006
Messages
13,729 (2.25/day)
System Name AlderLake / Laptop
Processor Intel i7 12700K / Intel i3 7100U
Motherboard Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Master / HP 83A3 (U3E1)
Cooling Noctua NH-U12A 2 fans + Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut Extreme + 5 case fans / Fan
Memory 32GB DDR5 Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB 6000MHz CL36 / 8GB DDR4 HyperX CL13
Video Card(s) MSI RTX 2070 Super Gaming X Trio / Intel HD620
Storage Samsung 980 Pro 1TB + 970 Evo 500GB + 850 Pro 512GB + 860 Evo 1TB x2 / Samsung 256GB M.2 SSD
Display(s) 23.8" Dell S2417DG 165Hz G-Sync 1440p / 14" 1080p IPS Glossy
Case Be quiet! Silent Base 600 - Window / HP Pavilion
Audio Device(s) ALC1220-VB + ESS ES9118 DAC / Realtek onboard + B&O speaker system
Power Supply Seasonic Focus Plus Gold 750W / Powerbrick
Mouse Logitech MX Anywhere 2 Laser wireless / Logitech M330 wireless
Keyboard RAPOO E9270P Black 5GHz wireless / HP backlit
Software Windows 11 / Windows 10
Benchmark Scores Cinebench R23 (Single Core) 1936 @ stock Cinebench R23 (Multi Core) 23006 @ stock
Some interesting stuff:

Screenshot 2022-06-18 121304.png


For decades, hopeful techies have been promising a world where absolutely every object you encounter—bandages, bottles, bananas—will have some kind of smarts thanks to supercheap programmable plastic processors. If you’ve been wondering why that hasn’t happened yet, it’s that nobody has built working processors that can be made in the billions for less than a penny each.

It hasn’t been for want of trying; in 2021 Arm reproduced its simplest 32-bit microcontroller, the M0, in plastic, but even this couldn’t hope to meet the mark. The problem, according to engineers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and at British flexible-electronics manufacture PragmatIC Semiconductor, is that even the simplest industry-standard microcontrollers are too complex to make on plastic in bulk.

In research to be presented at the International Symposium on Computer Architecture later this month, the transatlantic team presents a simple yet fully functional plastic processor that could be made at sub-penny prices. The Illinois team designed 4-bit and 8-bit processors specifically to minimize size and maximize the percentage of working integrated circuits produced. Eighty-one percent of the 4-bit version worked, and that’s a good enough yield, says team leader Rakesh Kumar, to breach the one-penny barrier.

“Flexible electronics has been niche for decades,” says Kumar. He adds that this yield study shows “that they may be ready for the mainstream.”

The processors his team built were made using the flexible thin-film semiconductor indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO), which can be built on plastic and continues to work even when bent around a radius of millimeters. But while a reliable manufacturing process is a prerequisite, it was the design that made the difference.


Why Not Silicon?

You might be wondering why silicon processors can’t do the job of supercheap flexible computing. Kumar’s analysis suggest it won’t work. Compared to plastic, silicon is expensive and inflexible, but if you make the chip small enough, the plastic can just bend around it. However, silicon fails at the task for two reasons: One is that although the area of circuitry could be made supersmall, you still need to leave a comparatively large amount of space around the edges so that the chip can be cut out of the wafer. In the case of a microcontroller as simple as the Flexicore, there would be more space around the edge than there is area containing circuitry. What’s more, you’ll need still more room to fit enough I/O pads so data and power can get to the chip. Suddenly, you’ve got a large area of costly blank silicon, pushing up expenses past the critical US $0.01 mark.

Over the next few days, the International Symposium on Computer Architecture will take place in New York. During this fair, the researchers will present Flexicore, which is expected to reveal more details.


Read more: https://spectrum.ieee.org/plastic-microprocessor
 
Last edited:

eidairaman1

The Exiled Airman
Joined
Jul 2, 2007
Messages
37,418 (6.72/day)
Location
Republic of Texas (True Patriot)
System Name PCGOD
Processor AMD FX 8350@ 5.0GHz
Motherboard Asus TUF 990FX Sabertooth R2 2901 Bios
Cooling Scythe Ashura, 2×BitFenix 230mm Spectre Pro LED (Blue,Green), 2x BitFenix 140mm Spectre Pro LED
Memory 16 GB Gskill Ripjaws X 2133 (2400 OC, 10-10-12-20-20, 1T, 1.65V)
Video Card(s) AMD Radeon 290 Sapphire Vapor-X
Storage Samsung 840 Pro 256GB, WD Velociraptor 1TB
Display(s) NEC Multisync LCD 1700V (Display Port Adapter)
Case AeroCool Xpredator Evil Blue Edition
Audio Device(s) Creative Labs Sound Blaster ZxR
Power Supply Seasonic 1250 XM2 Series (XP3)
Mouse Roccat Kone XTD
Keyboard Roccat Ryos MK Pro
Software Windows 7 Pro 64
My only concern is heat output, Silicon is a really good insulator

And when it comes to U.S. currency there is no unit smaller than the Penny
 
Joined
Jan 8, 2017
Messages
7,195 (3.44/day)
System Name Good enough
Processor AMD Ryzen R7 1700X - 4.0 Ghz / 1.350V
Motherboard ASRock B450M Pro4
Cooling Deepcool Gammaxx L240 V2
Memory 16GB - Corsair Vengeance LPX - 3333 Mhz CL16
Video Card(s) OEM Dell GTX 1080 with Kraken G12 + Water 3.0 Performer C
Storage 1x Samsung 850 EVO 250GB , 1x Samsung 860 EVO 500GB
Display(s) 4K Samsung TV
Case Deepcool Matrexx 70
Power Supply GPS-750C
My only concern is heat output, Silicon is a really good insulator
They are probably good enough for things like these, anyway, even if this is only feasible for low power processors like microcontrollers it would be a big win, it would relieve a lot of manufacturing pressure.
 
Joined
Aug 21, 2015
Messages
1,044 (0.40/day)
Location
North Dakota
System Name Office
Processor i7-11700K
Motherboard Gigabyte Z590 Aorus Ultra
Cooling be quiet! Shadow Rock 3
Memory 16GB Crucial DDR4-3200
Video Card(s) EVGA RTX 3050 XC Gaming
Storage Samsung SM961 256GB, Western Digital WD10EZEX
Display(s) Dell S2719DGF
Case Fractal Define 7 Compact
Power Supply Seasonic Focus 550
Mouse EVGA X15
Keyboard Logitech G410
Software Windows 10 Home
My only concern is heat output, Silicon is a really good insulator

And when it comes to U.S. currency there is no unit smaller than the Penny

Stuff can still cost less than a penny. You just buy/sell it in the tens of thousands.

Also, maybe I don't want microchips on my bananas...
 
Joined
Jun 28, 2022
Messages
355 (3.74/day)
System Name EA-ZEN
Processor AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D with -50mW UV
Motherboard Asus X570
Cooling Big Air
Memory 2x16 GB DDR4 3600 CL16
Video Card(s) Asus RTX 2080 Ti Strix highly OC’ed
Storage 1 TB NVME, 500 GB SSD etc
Display(s) 2x 27”, main: curved 144Hz SVA with BLS and HDR
Case Full Tower
Audio Device(s) Z906 5.1 and Audeze Headphones, Shure SM7B mic
Power Supply Enough
Mouse Old but gold
Keyboard Mechanical Cherry Brown
Software Windows 10 Pro
Benchmark Scores A lot
My only concern is heat output, Silicon is a really good insulator

And when it comes to U.S. currency there is no unit smaller than the Penny
It has no big heat output since it’s very weak and small
 
Joined
Mar 20, 2022
Messages
213 (1.09/day)
Processor Ryzen 5 5600X
Motherboard Asus B550-F Gaming WiFi
Cooling Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4
Memory 64GB G.Skill Ripjaws V 3600 CL18
Video Card(s) Gigabyte RX 6600 Eagle (de-shrouded)
Storage Samsung 970 Evo 1TB M.2
Display(s) 2 x Asus 1080p 60Hz IPS
Case Antec P101 Silent
Audio Device(s) Ifi Zen DAC V2
Power Supply Be Quiet! Straight Power 11 650W Platinum
Mouse JSCO JNL-101k
Keyboard Akko 3108 V2 (Akko Pink linears)
It won't work. The greenies banned our plastic straws so inevitably they'll ban our plastic penny processors.
 
Joined
Aug 20, 2007
Messages
18,341 (3.32/day)
System Name Pioneer
Processor Ryzen R9 5950X
Motherboard EVGA X570 FTW Wifi
Cooling Noctua NH-D15 + A whole lotta Sunon and Corsair Maglev blower fans...
Memory G.Skill Ripjaws V 64GB (4 x 16GB DR Samsung C-Die) @ DDR4-3200
Video Card(s) EVGA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti FTW3
Storage 2x Crucial P5 Plus 2TB PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSDs
Display(s) 55" LG 55" B9 OLED 4K Display
Case Thermaltake Core X31
Audio Device(s) TOSLINK->Schiit Modi MB->Asgard 2 DAC Amp->AKG Pro K712 Headphones or HDMI->B9 OLED
Power Supply Corsair RM850x Gold 850W (2021 Version)
Mouse Steelseries Prime Wireless
Keyboard WASD CODE v3 Keyboard with MX Cherry Green Switches
Software Windows 11 Enterprise (yes, it's legit)
Also, maybe I don't want microchips on my bananas...
Your supposed to take the sticker off. That's most likely where this'll be applied if at all.

It won't work. The greenies banned our plastic straws so inevitably they'll ban our plastic penny processors.
You really don't understand why plastic straws were banned if you think these two things are related.
 
Joined
Mar 20, 2022
Messages
213 (1.09/day)
Processor Ryzen 5 5600X
Motherboard Asus B550-F Gaming WiFi
Cooling Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4
Memory 64GB G.Skill Ripjaws V 3600 CL18
Video Card(s) Gigabyte RX 6600 Eagle (de-shrouded)
Storage Samsung 970 Evo 1TB M.2
Display(s) 2 x Asus 1080p 60Hz IPS
Case Antec P101 Silent
Audio Device(s) Ifi Zen DAC V2
Power Supply Be Quiet! Straight Power 11 650W Platinum
Mouse JSCO JNL-101k
Keyboard Akko 3108 V2 (Akko Pink linears)
You really don't understand why plastic straws were banned if you think these two things are related.

I was joking but ok. Apparently I've gotta turn up the sarcasm even more.

Sarcastic George Costanza GIF
 
Joined
Aug 20, 2007
Messages
18,341 (3.32/day)
System Name Pioneer
Processor Ryzen R9 5950X
Motherboard EVGA X570 FTW Wifi
Cooling Noctua NH-D15 + A whole lotta Sunon and Corsair Maglev blower fans...
Memory G.Skill Ripjaws V 64GB (4 x 16GB DR Samsung C-Die) @ DDR4-3200
Video Card(s) EVGA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti FTW3
Storage 2x Crucial P5 Plus 2TB PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSDs
Display(s) 55" LG 55" B9 OLED 4K Display
Case Thermaltake Core X31
Audio Device(s) TOSLINK->Schiit Modi MB->Asgard 2 DAC Amp->AKG Pro K712 Headphones or HDMI->B9 OLED
Power Supply Corsair RM850x Gold 850W (2021 Version)
Mouse Steelseries Prime Wireless
Keyboard WASD CODE v3 Keyboard with MX Cherry Green Switches
Software Windows 11 Enterprise (yes, it's legit)
I was joking but ok. Apparently I've gotta turn up the sarcasm even more.

Sarcastic George Costanza GIF
Fair. It's the internet sarcasm does not always transmit lol.
 
Joined
Aug 21, 2015
Messages
1,044 (0.40/day)
Location
North Dakota
System Name Office
Processor i7-11700K
Motherboard Gigabyte Z590 Aorus Ultra
Cooling be quiet! Shadow Rock 3
Memory 16GB Crucial DDR4-3200
Video Card(s) EVGA RTX 3050 XC Gaming
Storage Samsung SM961 256GB, Western Digital WD10EZEX
Display(s) Dell S2719DGF
Case Fractal Define 7 Compact
Power Supply Seasonic Focus 550
Mouse EVGA X15
Keyboard Logitech G410
Software Windows 10 Home
Top