”Engineers in Japan have moved one step closer to their goal of building a personal digital assistant directly onto a sheet of glass. If they are successful, your handheld computer could look just like a small glass panel, possibly as early as 2003.
That could be possible because engineers at Fujitsu Laboratories have developed a new manufacturing process for thin-film transistors.
It has been possible to build integrated circuits directly onto glass for some time, but the technology has thus far only allowed relatively simple devices to be produced on a glass substrate. This is because the speed at which electrons move, called their mobility, is relatively slow on glass.
Current poly-silicon displays have a mobility fast enough to enable some chips, such as driver chips, to be produced directly onto the same piece of glass as the liquid-crystal display they control.
The electrons in anything more complex, such as a system large-scale integrated circuit or a microprocessor, have to move at much higher speeds and so require either glass with higher mobility or separate silicon-based components. These are packaged in plastic, inserted into circuit boards, and then connected with wires to the glass panel. ”