Nano in computing and electronics
Nano in your gadgets
Nanotechnologies are increasingly used in mobile phones, computers and other high technology equipment. The nano bit will not fundamentally change how your computer, your mobile phone, gaming console or your MP3 player operate, but it will make them faster, cheaper and with more memory.
Nobel Prize winners make better computers
In 2008 the Nobel Prize in Physics went to the co-discoverers of the material phenomenon known as giant magnetoresistance (GMR). GMR is basically what happens when you bring together really thin layers of different metals: you get a very powerful magnetic effect.
This discovery led to the ability to read data on high density hard drives, paving the way for the 100-gigabyte hard drive you have on your computer today. GMR was cited by the Nobel Prize committee as "one of the first applications of nanotechnology."
You've got the power
The limits of the way we currently make computer chips is not far off. There is a drive in electronics and computing to create chips with more and more transistors to increase their processing power. But when the dimensions of these chips get smaller and smaller, problems start developing and they don't work properly.
Nano tools and processes are being used to allow the dimensions of these chips to continue shrinking and allow the processing speeds of computers to progress.
This may allow for better computers, phones and processing power in lots of other devices - woven into your clothes, in security cameras, even implanted into your skin, or that of your dog!
Even the screens used on computers and other electronics are being developed with carbon nanotubes that will improve upon the color, the contrast and definition of other display technologies. They may also allow much thinner or even flexible screens.
Quick charge batteries
An area that is getting a lot of research now, but you can't purchase quite yet, is improved batteries for your laptop, phone or other electronic devices. These improved batteries could get a complete charge in just 5 minutes and their lifespan could be significantly increased.
On our full site we will have more detail on the safety issues which come up from the use of nano in Computing and Electronics as well as some of the social and ethical issues which may arise, in areas such as surveillance.
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