Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Shrinking products - Miniaturization is the new in thing

Two articles that caught my attention over this week.

India's smallest satellite set for May 9 launch  - The smallest Indian satellite, promising to send Indian education into a higher orbit, will leave the Isro Satellite Centre in Bangalore and move to Sriharikota for integration with the four-stage Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) for launch on May 9. StudSat, an acronym for student satellite, has been classified as a pico-satellite, which weighs between 0.1 and 1kg. - Times Of India, April 28th, 2010

IBM has created a miniature 3D map of the Earth that is so small that a thousand of them could fit on a single grain of salt. IBM scientists created the map though a breakthrough technique that uses a tiny, silicon tip with a sharp apex — 100,000 times smaller than a sharpened pencil — to create patterns and structures as small as 15 nanometers at greatly reduced cost and complexity. IBM said this patterning technique opens new prospects for developing nano-sized objects in fields such as electronics, future chip technology, medicine, life sciences, and optoelectronics - Softwaretop100.org, April 26th, 2010

Both of them point towards a future that is increasingly nano. Miniaturization is the name of the game in every domain today. Miniaturization helps pack more features into a device, lowers power consumption and most importantly allows newer ways of using devices.

Building satellites even a decade back was the turf of government backed agencies that had access to huge funds.Today students in engineering colleges are doing it. The same stands true for robotics. I read about school kids starting to build and experiment with robots in Chennai

What it also means for a country like India is lower cost, easy reach of technology aided products, medical implants driven by technology to the common man.

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