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Everyday Nanotechnology

Computing And Telecommunications

In early 2006, Forbes magazine released its list of the top ten nanotech products of 2005. Most of the entries reflected the current trend of using nanotechnology to improve existing products. At the top of the list, though, was Apple Computer's iPod nano, the pocket-sized MP3 player.

Is the iPod nano truly a nanotech device? Or is the “nano” descriptor just a marketing gimmick reflecting its small size? The chips in the iPod nano are indeed manufactured with nanoscale precision, an example of miniaturization taken to the molecular level. Samsung, the manufacturer of one of the iPod nano chips, achieves this using conventional chip fabrication techniques. In the near future, new techniques in chip fabrication will produce even smaller and more powerful chips. Nanotechnology holds great potential for future generations of products in industries such as computing, telecommunications, and electronics—industries that stay competitive by putting out smaller, faster devices.

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