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Programmable matter

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3 Author(s)
S. C. Goldstein ; Carnegie Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh, PA, USA ; J. D. Campbell ; T. C. Mowry

In the past 50 years, computers have shrunk from room-size mainframes to lightweight handhelds. This fantastic miniaturization is primarily the result of high-volume nanoscale manufacturing. While this technology has predominantly been applied to logic and memory, it's now being used to create advanced microelectromechanical systems using both top-down and bottom-up processes. One possible outcome of continued progress in high-volume nanoscale assembly is the ability to inexpensively produce millimeter-scale units that integrate computing, sensing, actuation, and locomotion mechanisms. A collection of such units can be viewed as a form of programmable matter.

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:38 ,  Issue: 6 )