Plastic chips would be flexible and cheap; meaning they could be printed pretty much anywhere. | Image: PragmatIC
If you think microchips are ubiquitous now, appearing in everything from washing machines to lampposts, just wait until circuits can be printed onto plastic, paper, and fabric for the price of pennies. That’s what chip designer Arm is promising, with the company this week unveiling a new prototype plastic-based microchip named PlasticARM.
This isn’t the first flexible chip we’ve seen, but it is the most complex. PlasticARM contains a 32-bit Cortex-M0 CPU (the cheapest and simplest processor core in Arm’s Cortex-M family), as well as 456 bytes of ROM and 128 bytes of RAM. It’s comprised of over 18,000 logic gates, which Arm says is at least 12 times more than the previous plastic-based chip.
The chip was designed in coordination with…