Printed Silicon Ink Chips – Boon or Bust?

Printed chips could be a boon for one Silicon Valley firm that hopes that the printed chips could assist consumers. Using silicon ink to print the chips, the chips could contained data to help consumers make the right purchase. So what makes printed chips so attractive? They could be inexpensive to produce compared to traditional silicon chips.

Over at the San Jose Mercury News, they state the following information:

Until now, creating the microchips that power all of our electronic gadgets has been a laborious, complex and time-consuming process costing billions of dollars.

But if a Milpitas-based startup succeeds, making them could be as easy as printing a piece of paper.

And that could open up a huge market for so called “printed semiconductors,” which would contain an enormous amount of data but would be cheap enough to slap on thousands of products. Imagine going to the grocery store and being able to find out what wine works best with your favorite chicken recipe.

Backed by investors who include former San Francisco 49ers Brent Jones and Tommy Vardell — and a board that boasts Sun Microsystems co-founder Vinod Khosla — privately held Kovio hopes to launch in a matter of weeks what is believed to be the world’s first manufacturing plant for printed semiconductors.

By using inkjet and other types of printers, the company plans to make radio frequency identification devices — so called RFID tags. Such tags traditionally contain microchips, but are so expensive now their use has been relatively limited.

If Kovio succeeds in keeping the price of the devices low, according to its executives and others familiar with the company, it could herald a new era for consumers and the chip business.

But will this be enough to make the printed chips successful? We won’t know the answer to that question until we see the final product. I must admit that if this does come about, we could be looking at a new era in technology.

Comments as always are welcome.


Should We Protect Newspapers From New Technology?

Over at the Washington Post there is a piece written By Bruce W. Sanford and Bruce D. Brown, in which the writers express their views on why journalism needs to be saved. But is it ALL journalism that needs to be saved? Or just journalism on the Internet?

So I went to Wikipedia for a short description of what journalism is:

Journalism is the production of news reports such as newspapers, magazines, radio, television and the Internet. Journalists — be they writers, editors, photographers, broadcast presenters or producers — serve as the main purveyors of information and opinion in contemporary society. Source: Wikipedia.

But in the Washington Post article it is the Internet that is being attacked for what the writers state as:

The law of the Internet was written for the technology companies seeking to protect their growth in a once-fledgling medium, not for the journalism outlets that are now handicapped trying to survive there. Regulatory reform is needed because the playing field has become so uneven.

The Internet innovators that have thrived online enabled their own success as early as 1996 by securing immunity from defamation and other liability caused by user postings on their sites. Two years later, they persuaded Congress to add another exemption, this one for user postings that violate copyright law. These safe harbors have allowed companies from Yahoo to YouTube to prosper from the content they carry with little concern of being held accountable for it.

This is where I take exception to what the writers state. If they knew what the Internet was and what the rules were, than why did they come to the Internet? No one held a gun to the journalism community and forced them to come and play with the world. If they wanted to protect their kingdoms they should have stayed where they were.

Let me explain myself further. Journalism hasn’t attacked radio or television which provides better coverage and faster coverage than any printed material can. Because of the popularity of the Internet and the lack of understanding of what the Internet is, journalists are struggling to find their way. They cite old copyright laws that do not hold true on the Internet. They cite their own rules of fairness, that may work well in the print world, but will not work on the Internet.

The Internet is for the world and not just for the U.S. It is a communication media in which all earthlings can speak, share their thoughts and hopefully share their ideas with one another without interfernece from governmental regulation.

What do you think about this matter? Let me know.

Washington Post article

Printed Version Of PC Magazine Will Cease January, 2009

Since 1982, PC Magazine which is now owned by Ziff-Davis, has provided useful information in the computer technology arena. But the once popular magazine has fallen on hard times, and the last printed issues will cease to be published next January, 2009.

Ziff-Davis will continue the magazine online as PC mag. The article also states that:

Gadget and PC shoppers stay online now, preferring sites such as AOL’s Engadget, Gawker Media’s Gizmodo or CNET to print. Ziff Davis will follow that model and PC Magazine will become PCMag, part of a new network of sites called the PCMag Digital Network. The Network will also include ExtremeTech, Gearlog, Appscout, Smart Device Central, GoodCleanTech, DL.TV, Cranky Geeks, and PCMagCast.

I believe that other magazines may follow by also discontinuing their printed magazines as the economy continues to slow in 2009.

Comments welcome.