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May 23, 2019

Production of more than 250,000 chips embedded within fibers in less than a year

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing

In the summer of 2018, a team led by MIT researchers reported in the journal Nature that they had successfully embedded electronic devices into fibers that could be used in fabrics or composite products like clothing, airplane wings, or even wound dressings. The advance could allow fabrics or composites to sense their environment, communicate, store and convert energy, and more.

Research breakthroughs typically take years to make it into final products—if they reach that point at all. This particular research, however, is following a dramatically different path.

By the time the unique fiber advance was unveiled last summer, members of Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA), a not-for-profit near MIT, had already developed ways to increase the throughput and overall reliability of the process. And, staff at Inman Mills in South Carolina had established a method to weave the advanced using a conventional, industrial manufacturing-scale loom to create fabrics that can use light to both broadcast and receive information.

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