/>
X
Business

Time for plastic electronics?

Plastic Logic, a Cambridge UK startup, is getting $100 million in venture capital to build plastic electronics on a commercial scale. The facility "will produce flexible active-matrix display modules for 'take anywhere, read anywhere' electronic reader products.
larry-dignan-eic.jpg
Written by Larry Dignan on

Plastic Logic, a Cambridge UK startup, is getting $100 million in venture capital to build plastic electronics on a commercial scale.

The facility "will produce flexible active-matrix display modules for 'take anywhere, read anywhere' electronic reader products. It will utilize Plastic Logic’s unique process to fabricate active-matrix displays that are thin, light and robust; enabling a reading experience closer to paper than any other technology," according to Plastic Logic.

The effort, which has gotten a lot of press from the Financial Times, raises a bunch of interesting questions. 

--Can this technology make e-paper and e-books a reality? John Mills, chief operating officer at Plastic Logic, said: "Our displays will enable electronic reader products that are as comfortable and natural to read as paper whether you’re on a beach, in a train or relaxing on the sofa at home. Wireless connectivity will allow you to purchase and download a book or pick up the latest edition of your newspaper wherever you are and whenever you need it. The battery will last for thousands of pages so you can leave your charger at home."

Call me skeptical. We've heard about e-books and e-paper becoming popular forever, but most of us are still going the paper route.

[poll id=31] 

--What companies should be threatened by Plastic Logic? On first glance, Plastic Logic looks like it could be a pain to Samsung, LG Philips, Sony and AU Optronics.

--Is this $100 million investment going to be enough? Plastic Logic's financing--led by Oak Investment Partners and Tudor Investment Corporation--is the "largest in the history of European venture capital," said Plastic Logic. Plants are expensive and it's unclear how the market will develop for Plastic Logic's products. Bet on another round of funding.

--How fast can plastic electronics ramp up? Yet to be determined--taking lab research and going commercial is difficult. The big bet appears to be that plastic electronics can be a major addition to silicon-based electronics. When plastic will ride shotgun with silicon remains to be seen. Early indications of Plastic Logic's success should appear next year sometime--that's when the company's new plant in Dresden, Germany goes into production.

Editorial standards

Related

How to use your phone to diagnose your car's 'check engine' light
BlueDriver Bluetooth dongle

How to use your phone to diagnose your car's 'check engine' light

How to access your iPhone's camera faster with this hidden feature
iphone-13-pro-max-cameras.jpg

How to access your iPhone's camera faster with this hidden feature

Google Play malware: If you've downloaded these malicious apps, delete them immediately
a-man-sitting-in-his-living-room-looking-at-his-smartphone-with-concern

Google Play malware: If you've downloaded these malicious apps, delete them immediately