A computer for $15!

Bob had written about this fantasy in 2001. It was the story of a company called Rolltronics which is trying to re-discover the “Wafer Scale Integration” and perfect the technology to essentially print the whole computer on thin plastic and sell it for a mere $15 apiece!

Imagine the revolutionary PC in the form of a magazine – printed the same way a newspaper gets printed. Though Bob prophesied that the dream, dirt-cheap PC which will be the next big thing to happen in the technology era, will fructify in 2006, it appears the 15 crumpled greenbacks residing in my piggybank have to wait longer! Perhaps the folks at Rolltronics are still dotting the I’s on the ways to adapt the roll-to-roll printing to the production of amorphous semiconductors on plastic films. But they are about to roll out another cool gadget – a wafer thin display using a technology called “FASwitch” (Flexible Array Switch). Imagine an HDTV you take home under your arm in a cardboard tube and attach to your wall with thumbtacks or tape.

Bob is all agog with the possibilities that the new technology can unfold. Imagine billboards that could not just be changed at will, but that could also include video, since the FASwitches can cycle at up to 200 HZ, which is plenty fast enough for any computer gamer.

We in India, who have become very much “gadget-hungry”, will really get thrilled with the new toy. But will it not be pretty pricey ultimately, with all duties, taxes and levies, not to speak of the other imponderables!

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