Z80 8-Bit CPU Formed on Glass SubstrateA World First
First Step Toward Futuristic "Sheet Computers"
Sharp Corporation (headquarters: Abeno-ku, Osaka; Katsuhiko Machida,
President; "Sharp" below), and Semiconductor Energy Laboratory Co.,
Ltd. (headquarters: Atsugi, Kanagawa Prefecture; Shumpei Yamazaki,
President; "SEL" below), have successfully integrated an 8-bit Z80*1
CPU onto a glass substrate designed for LCD displays, based on their
jointly developed CG- Silicon*2 technologya world first.
CG (Continuous Grain) Silicon technology is the core technology behind
System LCDs, next-generation functional devices developed jointly
by the two companies in 1998. CG-silicon maintains atomic-level continuity
at the crystal grain boundaries, thereby enabling electrons to travel
through the semiconductor approximately 600 times faster than conventional
amorphous silicon and approximately three times faster than low-temperature
polysilicon. This technology allows digital logic, including LCD driver
and power supplies, I/O interfaces, and signal processing circuitry,
to be integrally formed on the same glass substrate as an LCD display.
This achievement is expected to lead to dramatic reductions in component
mounting area and the number of external parts, and will also contribute
to lighter weights and thinner profiles as well as greater reliability
in assembled systems.
Sharp and SEL have now succeeded in forming an 8-bit CPU <Z80>
on a glass substrate, a world first. This achievement is based on
further improvements in the level of crystallinity of the CG-silicon
and the introduction of innovative process technology, and opens up
the possibility of integrating on the same glass substrate not only
functional peripheral components, particularly LCD display components
and LCD driver ICs, but also a wide range of data processing circuit
logic, including CPUs, memory, image compression/decompression circuitry,
and the like. This new success based on CG-Silicon technology represents
the first step on the road toward the development of futuristic ultra-thin
"sheet computers" and "sheet TVs."
In October of this year, Sharp launched mass production of System
LCDs designed for use in mobile devices such as cellular telephones
Both companies are now forging ahead with technology innovations aimed
at developing full-fledged systems-on-a-panel appropriate for the
"ubiquitous network" world we live in.
||The Z80 microprocessor was
the main CPU used in 8-bit PCs. ZiLOG, Inc., manufactured the
Z80 in 1976 and Sharp manufactured it in 1977.
||CG (continuous grain) silicon