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'HurraFussball' Demo'd at OEC

Photonics.com
Oct 2006
CAMBRIDGE, England, Oct. 4, 2006 -- HurraFussball, an organic electronics game board developed by  Menippos GmbH and manufactured by printed systems GmbH, was demonstrated at the fourth Organic Electronics Conference and Exhibition (OEC-06), held last month in Frankfurt, Germany. Formerly known as the Organic Semiconductor Conference (OSC), the conference is organized by cintelliq, a Cambridge, England, organic semiconductor consulting and research company, and by the Organic Electronics Association (OE-A), a working group of the VDMA (Verband Deutscher Maschinen- und Anlagenbau, or the German Engineering Federation), a European association service provider and engineering industry network.

The OE-A demonstrated a multifunctional game board and technology combining organic devices developed by nine of its members, illustrating the potential of integrated organic electronics, the organizers said.
hurrafuss.jpg

HurraFussball is based on the technology of mass printing of function polymers and "enables the real-playing world to be connected with the virtual playing world," the manufacturers said.
Each of the trading cards is equipped with an electronic code which controls an online game. For the pilot application of mass-printed electronics, printed systems GmbH produced nearly 3 million trading cards -- from the design of the electronic code via the electronic printing to the sorting and packing of the cards in booster and starter sets.

"The fully printed chip made by printed systems is revolutionary," said Volker Tzschucke, executive manager of Menippos. "It is no thicker than printing color and is not noticeable or disturbing for the player. Moreover, it is the first time this technology allows us to use electronics on trading cards in an economically sensible manner."

In HurraFussball, 330 different ID codes ensure that the computer can identify each card and integrate it into the flow of the computer game at the right time. The dedicated reader -- which customers can purchase along with their first set of playing cards-- was also developed by printed systems. The player inserts the playing cards into the reader, and the reader then sends signals, via USB cable, that are identified and translated by the game. (For a demonstration [in German] of HurraFussball, visit: www.hurrafussball.de)

About 300 delegates and exhibitors from 18 countries attended OEC-06, which featured presentations on new research, products and government funding and the first Organic Semiconductor Industry Awards. It was "the largest event in this industry this year,” said Craig Cruickshank, CEO of cintelliq and OEC director.

"The combination of new materials and large-area printing processes is enabling new types of organic electronic devices, such as displays, sensors, memory, transistors, and photovoltaics, Cruickshank said. "This provides the opportunity to develop new applications that will be thin, lightweight, flexible and ultimately low-cost. Applications such as smart and intelligent packaging, flexible displays, disposable sensors, brand protection as well as interactive games are now beginning to reach the market."

The European Commission and the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) reitereated their support of organic electronics during plenary sessions. Cruickshank said organic electronics is seen as an essential emerging technology for Europe.

The European Commission is set to fund organic electronics with a budget of 50 million euros (about $64 million) under the forthcoming 7th Framework Programme, beginning in January, said Augusto De Albuquerque, Information Society and Media Directorate-General, European Commission. Gerhard Finking, head of the microsystems division at the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), said organic electronics is an integral and important part of the German High Tech Strategy Program. Presentations on materials, novel device architectures and printing at OEC demonstrated progress being made throughout the industry.

Other presenters included Merck and Mitsubishi Chemicals, on developments involving high-mobility solution-processible organic semiconductor materials; Mitsubishi Chemicals on small molecule materials; Merck on polymer materials; Novaled on its P-I-N OLED technology, in particular red devices with more than 120,000 hours at 500Cd/m2; ORFID on high-current organic transistors based on a vertical device architecture; and Xaar on thin-film electronics on inkjet printing of nonvolatile polymer memory.

PolyIC showed the first “mile-long” roll-to-roll printed 13.56 MHz polymer RF tag (radio frequency tag). The company said it expects to launch its first product in 2007. “These two announcements clearly represent a major milestone in the transition from research and development to volume products,” said Wolfgang Mildner, chairman of OE-A and managing director of PolyIC.

The 2006 Organic Semiconductor Industry Awards (OSIA), sponsored by cintelliq in association with OSA Direct, went to Merck KGaA, Germany, for research and development; Plextronics, US, for startup of the year; and CERC-AIST, Japan, for best peer-reviewed paper.

OEC-07 will be held Sept. 24-26 at the Sheraton-Conference Centre, Frankfurt-Airport, Germany. For more information, visit: www.oec-europe.com


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