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MEMs the word...

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posted on Mar, 9 2005 @ 09:03 PM
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Ah... the world of the micro and nano! When one thinks of these they probably have visions of microbes, and viruses, nanobots and tiny gears and pumps, however many corporations are currently pursuing the developement of them with an almost demonic passion. There are currently hundreds of companies whose technologies will undoubtably play a enormous way in which we live our daily lives. How so you asked? What will change? Well the answers are not easily answered, and very well be impossible to determine for sure, however the singularity is coming, and possibly sooner than we thought. This exponential growth in technology will provide the human race with wonders beyond belief, but possibly also terrors from the worst nightmares... if humanity cannot grow up, in the proverbial sense.

Two of the greatest impacts to the singularity starting, in my opinion, will be the use of both nano, and its bigger cousin the MEMS(Micro-electro-machines systems), since nano is all the rage right now I am going to delve into MEMS for a moment. MEMS are incredibly tiny machines that can do many things that normal machines can do today, they can spin tiny gears, move liquids and adjust to varying changes around them. But what can they... do? Well that is the question people have been asking for the last decade. Just recently MEMS have matured enough to start providing benefits to mankind. Some of these benefits include miniture accelerometers(costing a fraction of current ones), miniture RF-antennaes et al. and miniture labs a.k.a lab-on-a-chip, where complex reactions can be performed without the need for thousands of dollars worth of equipment.

There are many companies out there that are using MEMS to improve on many current devices from displays to cell-phones.




These are but a few of the companies working on getting MEMS to the market* Many others out there are busy working on mini-gyros. My personal favorite in this list would have to be
Microvision, because of there unique HUD they are field testing now in my state and others.




posted on Mar, 9 2005 @ 10:31 PM
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EDITED FOR CLARITY:

Just to clarify the differance between Nanotech and MEMs.

Nanotech is measured in Angstroms

MEMs is measured in Microns

Nanotech is roughly working at levels 1000 times smaller then MEMs technology.


[edit on 9-3-2005 by sardion2000]



posted on Mar, 9 2005 @ 10:37 PM
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Exactly! Most people don't know the difference between the two and for some reason they equate one with the other. Thanks for defining the terms so the less informed people can clearly grasp it!


[edit on 9-3-2005 by Sigma]



posted on Mar, 9 2005 @ 10:41 PM
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Originally posted by Sigma
I believe I mentioned that in my writing. I know both are completely different... Nano is in the angstrom range, while MEMS are in the micro range. They topic was just general "smalltech", not necessarily focused solely on MEMs.



Sorry I skimmed through, It's late okay heh. thx for making the distinction clear though as I have seen it perverted beyond reason by soooo many people it isn't funny.
I'll read more thoughly now and comment.

EDIT: Yeah but one thing I am sort of disappointed about is that most of the tech is really expensive. MEMs enabled appliances are thousands more then thier regular cousins. I've been waiting for this technology for quite a while now but I am starting to wonder if it may be overshadowed by Nanotechnology before it really gets off the ground. The military and high-end applications are enourmous but I remain skeptical until I start to see some real profits.

[edit on 9-3-2005 by sardion2000]



posted on Mar, 9 2005 @ 10:47 PM
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You probably already know everything here as from writing you appear to be very tech-concious and probably won't gleen any new information. This post is primarily for people who don't understand the ramifications of the two technologies. Unless you you have never seen those sites... then perhaps you can get something out of this post.



posted on Mar, 9 2005 @ 10:49 PM
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Yes, its possible MEMS may be completely overshadowed by nanotech, however there will probably always be applications that MEMS can use... ofcourse I could be wrong.



posted on Mar, 9 2005 @ 10:54 PM
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Well actually I do not know that much about MEMs technology, and am always looking for more information. What do you see as the Killer Appz that may possibly arrise from MEMs? I know what Nanotech is capable of but I am unsure what we can really do with MEMs that we cannot do with Nanotech
. I have not a clue and maybe you could fill the void. I have been concentrating so much on Nano and Bio for the last 6 years I have not had the time to consider MEMs as an investment opportunity. Maybe you could help allievate my skeptism of this technology.



posted on Mar, 9 2005 @ 11:06 PM
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Well I know nanotech will eventually displace MEMS no matter what, however I believe MEMS will incorporate the bottom-up approach that nanotech uses as opposed to the top-down lithography they currently use in the computer industry. This melding of the two will lead to machines that can perform... almost anything I would think. For instance machines that can do numorous things i.e. both a gear and a computer... talk about integrated... or an energy source built right into the existing structure. For nanotech to become viable its going to have to apply to the macroscopic world where we live, if it doesn't then MEMS will still dominate the macro.

Until you have something like Drexler's Nanoscopic assembler(or something of that nature) that can create things on the fly, MEMS are going to be that bridge that links the atomic to everday use. I am talking true nanotech here not the nano-particles/nano-coating we are pursueing right now.

Edit: I should have noted that I meant in certain applications. The current theory of using the bottom-up approach is you have self-assembly at some instance or a direct manipulation of the atomic.

[edit on 9-3-2005 by Sigma]

[edit on 9-3-2005 by Sigma]



posted on Mar, 9 2005 @ 11:16 PM
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Until you have something like Drexler's Nanoscopic assembler(or something of that nature) that can create things on the fly, MEMS are going to be that bridge that links the atomic to everday use. I am talking true nanotech here not the nanoparticles we are pursueing right now.


I hope you're right as whenever someone mentions Nanofactory to a venture cap company they vanish. If you phrase it self-assembly then it's different to them somehow. Odd ain't it
Has any MEMs device to date displayed self-assembling qualities? If they manage to do that in MEMs devices then I will be impressed and will start researching this stuff like a maniac. I wonder why some of my peers in the Investing field look down on the technology?
(Note to self, never let peers influence opinion again
)



posted on Mar, 9 2005 @ 11:26 PM
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Well I can tell you right now that the MEMS' field is very mature, despite having produced so little in regards to actual products. I am going to have to look it up but I believe that certain MEMS are far lower in terms of price then other, generically made devices like gyroscopes and accelerometers. I think one of the current melding of the two technologies could be shown in the NIST's new miniture atomic clock, as it uses characteristics from both.

www.boulder.nist.gov...

Very interesting stuff!

So you are an investor by trade?



posted on Mar, 9 2005 @ 11:46 PM
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One of the companies that seems to have a leg in the consumer sector would be Kionix. They have a variety of MEMS.



posted on Mar, 9 2005 @ 11:49 PM
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So you are an investor by trade?


Yup! Albeit Independant atm. I could not stand the political manuevuring that went on at my previous employer(TD Waterhouse, Junior Trader for about 3 and a half months) It kind of sucks not having a regular check but if I make money on a trade I get to keep ALL of it not just make a crappy comission
It's rough waters out there though, and I have been actually moving out of Tech for the moment while I take a lil breather.

One company I am really interested in is Nanosys Inc. They are private atm but they could go public soon. I am a bit weary though as they have no products but I do make the occasional speculative bet.

Interesting link btw I'll have to bookmark that one.

fyi My investment strategy is to get into disruptive technologies. You know the ones people hate the most
Right now I am concentrating on, Nano, Bio, Alternative Energy, and Alternative Transport companies.



posted on Mar, 9 2005 @ 11:50 PM
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Originally posted by Sigma
One of the companies that seems to have a leg in the consumer sector would be Kionix. They have a variety of MEMS.


Oh yeah I've heard of them! Thanks for reminding me about them



posted on Mar, 10 2005 @ 12:00 AM
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Hmmm... interesting! Do you have some links to those companies you would consider sharing? I myself am still a college student, I am going into R&D and I want to test the waters so I am looking up any and all available technologies. The future is definently a hodge-podge as I am sure you can attest to.



posted on Mar, 10 2005 @ 12:10 AM
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Sure I'll list off a few right now.
Please do not take anything I say as an Endorsment to Buy/Sell or whatever. I just have to tell you that due to ethics and whatnot


www.zapworld.com...
Not nanotech but an Interesting company with an interesting business model.

www.feicompany.com...
Nanotech Tools maker

www.hhgp.com...
Harris & Harris Group Inc.
A Small-Tech and Nanotech Venture Fund only investing in Private startups.

www.nanalyze.com...
Nanotech Discussion forum geared towards dissecting companies that "claim" to be Nano -- This is really the only link you need as you will find every company that is doing nanotech on this forum.


www.westaim.com...
Has a nanotech biopharm subsidiary and is developing the iFire display(not nano however)

Hope that helps for now. I'll come up with a more comprehensive list later(if I remember)

Also www.smalltimes.com... is a good site as is..

www.nanodot.org... and www.foresight.org... (But I'm sure you knew that already
)

[edit on 10-3-2005 by sardion2000]



posted on Mar, 10 2005 @ 09:51 PM
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I almost forgot about a company called Nanochip. There technology could be disruptive if they can get hundreds of gigabits/in^2 if not terabits/in^2. The best thing about this type of memory is that is primarily solidstate, so you don't have to worry about you harddrive wearing out....

Nanochip

Looks promising, and it is going to be available fairly soon! I would say it is a good start to MEMS!

The device is similar to IBM's millipede project in various ways, however according to the developers it will be signicantly different to warrent their patent.


[edit on 10-3-2005 by Sigma]



posted on Mar, 11 2005 @ 12:36 PM
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MEM's seem to be a very promiseing atriabute to the world and maybe some years from now MEM's will be the working factory that builds nano's? who knows but the world is in for a very biug change and fast and some time from now all are lives will change we will live longer run faster and think quicking but if are world becomes to domnaite on terms of machines will we be a doomed race that will die out only to have are AI to live on ?




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