Miniaturization trends

Overview of MINIATURIZATION trends

Miniaturization offers nanotech breakthroughs ranging from cancer treatments to quantum computing – but not Replicators or ‘grey goo’

 

Despite counter-productive hype of the term ‘nano’, overall trends in Miniaturization are relatively-predictable and will be extraordinary

  • The Miniaturization trend has become deeply embedded into modern society because manufacturers, distributors and consumers all benefit from the results
  • Because of the high barriers against newcomers entering into Miniaturization developments, the direction of the trend is dictated by the major players that fund it
  • Political and commercial claims that nanotechnology will soon be a ‘trillion dollar market’ are overstated and confusing – even though the field will indeed prove crucial

 

Technology that is used to make computer-chips is leading to Top-Down manufacture of minute devices and eventually to Quantum Computers

  • Conventional computer-chip manufacturing involves building 3-D sculptures of varying materials – but those techniques can equally well make other minute devices
  • Potential developments such as a whole medical laboratory on a chip open the possibility of fundamental changes to both healthcare and how science itself advances
  • Miniaturization so small it can take advantage of counterintuitive Quantum Effects is funded to solve problems in cryptography but will also transform search algorithms

 

Technology previously associated with Biology and Chemistry is allowing Bottom-Up manufacture of smartparticles and exotic structures

  • Chemists have long known how to build simple molecules bottom-up using basic ingredients, and Biologists increasingly do the same for complex molecules like DNA
  • Miniscule particles and ultrathin coatings have special properties for sunblock-creams, self-cleaning windows, coatings for medical implants and cancer treatments
  • Exotic superhard, superstrong or supermagnetic materials will lead to incredible consumer innovations and major breakthroughs in solar-energy and electricity storage

 

Most fears about nanotech are unfounded – nanobots will not turn the world to ‘grey goo’ and there will not be a ‘post-scarcity economy’

  • Well-respected scientists, best-selling authors and influential futurists have made claims about nanotech-devices building everyday objects and the dangers of nanobots
  • The concept of the threat of ‘grey goo’ is a leftover from research ideas of the 1980s that have long been superseded and the risks anyway were never well-founded
  • The idea of a molecular-level Replicator that can manufacture everyday-objects may forever remain impractical for most applications – however 3-D printing will have a huge impact
  • Although all the well-publicized scare stories about nanotech are false, there are valid concerns over possible health-risks from nanoparticles and other exotic materials

 

The net effect of Miniaturization reinforcing the otherwise-separate trends of Digitization and Networking will transform everyday-life