The Effects of Miniaturization of Applications on Components and Materials


It was not so long ago – most likely in a majority of our lifetimes – when the highest-performance computing machines of the day took up half the space of an entire large university, corporate, or government laboratory building. Consider the goliath-sized computer of the 50s and 60s, and then compare their computational power to the touch-screen iPhone you may very well right now be holding in your hand. That iPhone holds exponentially greater levels of functionality than did those unwieldy behemoths from 50 years back. Nor does the trend need be observed from the vantage point of decades in order to be readily apparent. During the later course of this year, all the major Smartphone and computer suppliers introducing items that bear all the features and functions of the original model – but still uses a considerably smaller amount of space. It all boils down to the ever-increasing (or should we say decreasing trend) in electronics and mechanics: the miniaturization of parts, components, and applications.
From the Smartphone to the Smartcar, it seems as though the trend were endemic in most, if not all, industries. Since Vanguard makes its business both in supplying EMI/RFI gasket shielding for electronic devices, as well as more conventional extrusions and molds for silicone- and elastomer-based products (that don’t necessarily have an electrical application), we make it our business to keep current with the ongoing miniaturization process, and how it affects our industry and the business we conduct as a company.
In order for manufacturers like ourselves to remain ahead of the curve, we must anticipate the new demands for miniaturization. We must readily be able to provide EMI shields for ever smaller computers, phones, and electronic reading devices. By necessity, we must heed the so-called “Moore’s Law,” which posits that the number of transistors on any given circuit is able to double within the next 18 months. With technology moving ever more swiftly, we must ever more swiftly keep pace with its advances, and be capable of presenting solutions in anticipation of these issues as much as (if not more than) in reaction of them.

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