Sharp Unveils Glass Computer


macrumors 68030
May 28, 2002
I think the term 'Unveils' is a bit strong to describe this item... I think 'Shats,' might be more appropriate.

Reminds me of the Minority Report screens. :rolleyes:

Over Achiever

macrumors 68000
I've already suggested this before...

but once they have found a way to print the circuity in a flexible plastic, combined with sticking an OLED between the circuit printed plastic, voila.

Your roll-up computer. Expect that in a decade or so ;)

Over Achiever

macrumors 68000
Well thats what I said...a decade or so (more).

Right now, the OLEDs have to be sandwiched between glass plates...not very flexible. But the article cites that DuPont is working on a flexable polymer to place the OLEDs so that it won't degrade. I guess that will take 5-10, or even more years.

As for the electronics being printed on a polymer instead of glass, I see that happening sooner, say in 5 years. Etching the nano transisters and circuit elements in glass is difficult, but I don't think it will be more difficult to etch them on a different substace. Its just that the chemical that ultimately etches the circuit must etch the polymer consistently and evenly. I don't think that will be a problem.

Hard drive? Along those ten years, I hopefully expect that the holographic storage that they are developing now will be inexpensive enough so that they can replace today's HDs.

Communication? Hopefully wireless circuits will be built into circuitry printed on the polymer. Eventually what you will need is the module to keep in your pocket (or wear as a watch) that contains the HD and wireless card to communicate with the OLED.

Battery power? Well that remains to be seen if power can be transmitted efficiently over short distances. Hopefully this technology will be made feasable soon. And since the OLED needs no backlight, the power drain by it will be minimal. And the CPU, well i suppose 1 GHz will seem slow in the future, but it runs applications just fine, and they probably can make it efficient enough with a 0.06 or even a 0.03 micron process to make it possible to run on a Li-Ion battery pack the size of four AA batteries or so.

Optical drive? Well if cheap flash memory can hold at least a GB, then it won't be necessary. You just need to load the CDs or DVDs on the flash memory and voila. You can watch a DVD on your OLED :)

Ok, so this is an optimistic and even overly-ambitious plan for computers...but I expect my kids to have something like this when they grow up. The technology is there, the potential is there. You never know ;) :D

Mr. Anderson

Moderator emeritus
Nov 1, 2001
Originally posted by Over Achiever

Battery power? Well that remains to be seen if power can be transmitted efficiently over short distances. Hopefully this technology will be made feasable soon.
Not really a matter of efficiency - the company I work for does power beaming - the problems involved are safety concerns more than anything else. You don't want to get between the transmitter and receiver - the power transfer uses microwaves, you'd effectively cook yourself. For home units there would be too much liability.

If all this future tech does come to pass, you'd have to plug it in just like anything else - unless someone comes up with a rechargeable polymer based battery that manages to generate a current between different types/layers of polymer or something similarly flexible. That might take even longer.



macrumors 6502
Oct 28, 2002
New Caption: "This is what happens when you hire inexperienced factory workers who boil the silicon too long..."



macrumors 603
Feb 2, 2002
interestingly enough, as the story goes, microwaves were first discovered to cook food when a factory worker stood too close to a microwave (dish? machine? something?) and the hersheys bar in his pocket started to melt. I doubt it's true, but it's a cute story :)

a lot of you seem to be missing the fact that this particular processor, that was put on glass, is 25 years old and has only 13,000 transistors-- they've got decades of work to do before they catch up with modern processors. Tho even that processor would be good enough for very light work-- i think people are expecting too much, the roll-up PC would be cool but simply too big (several square yards?) until they figure this stuff out.



macrumors member
Dec 16, 2002
Huntington Beach, CA
You are actually correct about the melting candy bar. The story actually goes that an engineer was working with radars, which in their early forms (before phased array radars and such) had a very high level of microwave radiation. He noticed that the candy bar in his pocket had melted. Obviously this is not healthy for humans either. They realized this could be used for good and another great invention was born, the microwave. Just thought you may like to know the whole story.
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