Small, Mini, Micro… Nano

Miniaturization has always been the name of the game. In recent years we have been flooded by a progressively growing number of reports on “the world’s smallest objects”, but at the present rate of technological development these records will probably not last for very long. Here are three examples of the tiniest objects in the world at the moment.


The smallest MP3 player

X-CUTE MP3 player in orange

Smaller than a teaspoon, this new cube-shaped MP3 player’s size is only 24 square mm and its weight a mere 18 grams. It can play MP3 and WMA files and is equipped with a 256 or 512 Mb memory and a lithium polymer rechargeable battery, capable of approximately 10 hours of continuous playing time. In addition, the Japanese manufacturer Seagrand succeeded in squeezing into this tiny player a 6 band preset equalizer and a built-in microphone, which turns it into the perfect eavesdropping tool.

For further information refer to the Seagrand web site (translation by Google).


The smallest CMOS camera module



Sharp’s thinnest optical CMOS Camera module

Sharp recently introduced the LZ0P396D – the industry’s smallest and thinnest optical CMOS camera module measuring 2.43 mm thick with a volume of a mere 0.07 cc. The device has 110,000-pixel capability, which is not exactly DSLR resolution but with a price tag of about $10 (for the current model) and the ability to record smooth video at 30 fps (frames per second), it will be a good candidate for embedding in future 3G cell phones. The new compact camera module began selling in April.

For further information refer to the Sharp web site (translation by Google).


The smallest Wi-Fi module



Sharp’s tiny Wi-Fi module

Conexant Systems and Sharp Corporation have recently announced the availability of the world’s smallest and lowest standby power Wi-Fi module. The jointly developed Wi-Fi module is fully compliant with the IEEE 802.11b/g standard (with possible support for future standards such as IEEE 802.11n). It is targeted at products for embedded mobile applications, including cellular/WLAN handsets. The device will be based on Conexant’s CX3110X radio and will use Sharp’s packaging technology to create a module of less than 100 square mm. According to a Conexant press release, this Wi-Fi module will use PowerSave technology to deliver more than 600 minutes of “talk” time and 300 hours of standby mode. Although the price of the current Wi-Fi sample is still high (around $170), it is reasonable to assume that mass production will bring about a dramatic reduction in prices.

For further information refer to the Sharp web site (translation by Google).

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