Electronic gadgets have always played an essential role in human life by connecting people living at opposite ends of globe. In addition, technology has also enhanced the lifestyle. For example, Internet surfing is emerging as the third most popular pastime after TV and music. In fact, web has become a favorite medium for communications and news updates. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Today, technologies are evolving at such a rapid pace that it is not easy to fathom the life of the mankind in the near future.
Mobile phones making use of wireless technology are changing companies` outlook and their method of functioning. Now, it has become a boon to business, opening gates to various sources of higher productivity. Today, Mobiles phones are no longer the same-old talking devices; it has graduated to multimedia tool. Currently, a cell phone incorporates PDA, MP3 and camera features. For example, Qualcomm`s code-division multiple-access (CDMA) 3G mobile phones support 6-megapixel digital camera, TV quality video at 30 frames per second, 3D graphics acceleration for gaming, high fidelity digital audio and global positioning system (GPS) features. Fourth generation wireless is the next stage of broadband mobile communications replacing 3G generation mobiles. It`s features include faster data transmission, richer multimedia, smooth streaming video, universal access, operate able from any location on or above the earth and portability and connectivity across the globe.
This type of advancement in mobiles have only been possible primarily due to use of wireless transmission, such as WLAN (wireless local area network), WiMAX (world interoperability for microwave access), NAS (wireless network attached storage), RFID (radio frequency identification), UWB (wide band technology), etc. described below.
Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity), a WLAN conforming to IEEE 802.11b is emerging as a good replacement for LAN. It allows people to log onto the Internet and receive e-mails on the move.
WiMAX, an 802.16 wireless metropolitan-area network with a range of 50 km, facilitates wireless broadband access in metros and rural areas, and is a cost effective alternative to cables.
Wireless network attached storage ( NAS) functioning as file servers lets users access their allotted storage space on WI-Fi. Radio frequency identification (RFID) makes use of radio frequency waves to capture data in small, lightweight electronic read/write storage devices called `tags`. Data is accessible through handheld and fixed -mount readers in real time, using RF signals to transfer data to and from tags even in absence of line of sight.
UWB (ultra -wide technology) allows multiple device connection for transmission of AV and high-bandwidth data. The special feature of UWB is that it complements Wi-Fi, WiMAX and cellular wide-range long-range radio technologies. It relays data from host devices to other devices in immediate area up to 10 meters.
Besides this, wireless sensors are also used to measure and process the environmental data. For instance, the device designed to detect Tsunami wave makes use of wireless transmission to transmit signal on detecting some problem. It basically consists of wave and pressure sensors, seismographs and data-crunching computers and orbiting satellites. The Tide sensor processes the sea-level data and sends information to satellite and alert center. This data is analyzed with the data from seabed pressure sensors, sonar and radar and an action is taken.
These are systems that measure the physical property of the user such as hand geometry, retina pattern, or voice pattern. Thus, biomechatronics combines biology, mechanics and electronics focusing on interaction of human organs (including brain) with electromechanical devices.
Robotics is the science of using a machine (a robot) to perform manual functions without human intervention. The process of robotic operation is achieved by combination of software, mechanical manipulators, sensors, controllers and computers to provide programmable automation.
A robot can be used in nature-struck disaster area like earthquake-affected sites. This robot can transform into a crawler to climb over the debris, a snake to get through a hole or a column to hold up a collapsed building and protect a survivor.
Robots can be made to perform assembly applications such as welding, painting, ironing, pick-and-place, product inspection, speed and precision.
Robotic systems-a form of artificial intelligence, are used in healthcare in two main ways: they process sensory input from haptic interfaces and/or allow surgeons to act with more precision than the unassisted human hand. Robotic system with miniaturized cameras and precision laser surgical instruments are now used to conduct minimally invasive surgery, right down to the cellular level.
Information technology covers all forms of technology used to create, store, exchange and utilize information in its various forms including business data, conversations, still images, motion pictures and multimedia presentations. In other words, information technology architecture is an integrated framework for acquiring and evolving IT to achieve strategic goals. It has both logical and technical components. Logical components consists of mission, functional and information requirements, system configurations, and information flows while technical components include IT standards and rules that will be used to implement the logical architecture. Latest breakthrough in IT has been grid computing.
Grid computing provides clustering of remotely distributed computing. The main aim of grid computing to date has been on maximizing the use of availability of processor`s resources to solve a particular problem. Grid computing along with storage virtualization and server virtualization allows a Utility Computing. GUI: Graphical User Interface-- program interface based on graphics capabilities of the computer to create screens or windows.
Another progress in the filed of IT has been Internet protocolversion6 (Ipv6). It is designed to run high-performance networks and at same time, is efficient for low-bandwidth networks (wireless interface). "rapidigm India has developed Ipv6 technology application `number portability`, wherein the user retains his retains cellphone number, irrespective of the brand of the phone or the service he shifts to.
Nanotechnology is the science of creating highly miniaturized machines that work at the molecular level. The goal of nanotechnology is to control individual atoms and molecules to create computer chips and other devices that are thousands of times smaller than current technological device. Besides this, nanotechnology could be used to build devices, change the properties of materials and make advances in biotechnology.
Currently, silicon-based technology is proceeding towards dead-end, as it can`t be miniaturized further. This is where nanotech is going to come to the play. Breakthrough in molecular electronics and memory are pushing the limits of electronics beyond silicon.
Transistors built from carbon nanotubes outperform silicon transistor. Micro-refrigerators use carbon dioxide to cool chips. Denser hard drives, smaller and faster chips, and better optical switches are advances resulting from switches are advances resulting from the synergy of nanotechnology, electronics and computing.
Today`s memory chips like SRAM lose memory on the event of power cut. On the other hand, Flash, a non-volatile memory chip (does not lose memory on power cut) is slow to respond compared to SRAM. This insufficiency could be overcome by the use of Nano memories, as it has high speed, high capacity and non-volatility features.
Spintronics ( i.e., spin-based electronics), also known as magnetoelectronics, is an emergent technology which exploits the quantum propensity of electrons to spin as well as making use of their charge state. The spin itself is manifested as a detectable weak magnetic energy state characterised as "spin up" and "spin down". This property of electrons is of chief interest for semiconductor manufacturers especially while manufacturing ICs. This is because just like conventional `low` and `high` logic valves of a device, electrons have four states when subjected to electric field. This characteristic of electrons could be used in some electronic device for high data transfer speed, greater processing power, increased memory density and storage capacity.
ELECTRONIC COATS AND SHOE
Textile makers are incorporating microelectronic systems in clothing comprising of intelligent functions.