Date of Original Version




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(c) 2005 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other users, including reprinting/ republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted components of this work in other works.

Abstract or Description

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

IEEE Computer, 38, 6, 99-101.