Plastic Logic, Solvay partner on wearables, IoT development

The UK’s Plastic Logic has formed a partnership with US-headquartered Solvay Specialty Polymers aimed at developing low-power flexible electronics for sensors, mobile displays and wearable devices.

The two companies say they have committed to a joint development program that will demonstrate and industrialize low-power variants of such devices within two years.

Plastic Logic (Cambridge, UK) is regarded as a leader in the development of organic thin-film transistors, while Solvay (Alpharetta, GA, USA) produces high-performance polymers.

The companies say their collaboration will allow product designers to develop new devices in several emerging industrial segments, including displays for wearables and Internet of Things markets.

They expect these markets to be worth as much as $12 billion by 2020.

“It is gratifying to know that Solvay’s innovative polymers are contributing to the development of organic transistors and advancement of flexible display technology,” said Jens Hoeltje, Solvay’s director of strategy and marketing.

Solvay claims to have developed a range of electro-active polymers with a high dielectric constant, enabling high charge at low applied electric fields.

Combined with Plastic Logic’s transistor technology, the polymers can create a “step change” in voltage requirements for electronics devices – claim the companies – coupling improved low-power performance with extreme flexibility and durability.

“Flexible electronics is now a reality and forms an important foundation for the rapidly growing Internet of Things and wearables markets,” said Indro Mukerjee, Plastic Logic’s chief executive. “Plastic Logic has been working with leading companies to enable the supply chain for these markets and we are pleased to now be able to also partner with Solvay to deliver very low-power solutions.”