Will tomorrow’s wearables be powered by flexible transistors?

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have developed an incredible light, flexible, and fast new type of transistor that could very well power the future of wearable technology.

This transistor operates at a record 38 gigahertz, with simulations showing that it could reach speeds of as much as 110 gigahertz. This puts them on part with even some of the fastest computers.

See also: E-skin might be the slightly creepy future of wearables

How these transistors are created is also unique. It involves a reusable mold created with nanoimprint lithography and cutting the membrane with a nano-knife.

This gives you a small, ultra-thin and flexible transistor that can be used in a greater range of applications while providing extraordinary performance.

Not only that, but because the mold can be reused, it can be used to scale production in a process called roll-to-roll processing which will enable semiconductor manufacturers to produce devices on a roll of flexible plastic, in mass quantities.

Not only that, but their ultra-narrow design makes it possible to pack more transistors into a narrow space.

New transistors to benefit wearables?

One type of product that can be made with this technology: wearables.

Because these electronics are flexible and thin, they are a perfect candidate for the world of wearables where weight and flexibility are of critical importance.

Wearable fitness trackers, heart monitors, smart clothing, watches, and more could be made using these flexible transistors without sacrificing in power or performance. In fact, they might even make them inherently more powerful.

Here’s the downside. This technology isn’t ready for commercial production yet. There is still a lot of research to be done, and there hasn’t yet been any official estimates as to when it might be ready for prime time.

Even today, engineers are struggling to find new ways to make wearable devices smaller, thinner, lighter, and more powerful. We’ve reached a point where if we want to make a more minuscule computer, we’re going to have to create new technologies to do so.

With this, and other technologies on the horizon, it’s safe to say for all the great devices on the market, we’ve seen nothing yet.

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