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James Falasco
Nanotechnology : The Next Wave
Unlike previous technology waves, such as dotcoms, telecoms. Art...
electron beam microscopes linked to imaging workstations that were back ended by Cray’s.
The effort was in collaboration w...
to design very dense IC’s. In these programs I performed systems engineering and design
functions as well as taught classe...
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Next Technology Wave


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Review of how I see technology evolving

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Next Technology Wave

  1. 1. James Falasco Nanotechnology : The Next Wave Introduction Unlike previous technology waves, such as dotcoms, telecoms. Artificial intelligence and Biotechnology, nanotechnology is a broad-based enabling technology that has the power to change the technological and economic structure of an industry from” low tech” to “high tech”. While there are various time tables for the arrival of nanotechnology driven products there can be no doubt that they will come. The real challenge will be how to transition nanotechnology into the mainstream technology economy of today. The core areas of nanotechnology are diverse and cover many disciplines. Several key areas are: image processing, embedded computing, FPGA / ASIC development. Modeling and molecular sciences. It should be no surprise that the imaging of materials from all types of microscopes would be key components of any nanotechnology effort. Currently nanotechnology is touching a variety of vertical markets in a profound way. One close in market getting funding is the defense areas showing high payback in reduced size, weight and increased strength /performance. The most recent numbers show 238 million pumped in research efforts in the last year alone. Nanotechnology will greatly increase the survivability of soldiers and equipment. It will provide communication within units and allow a soldier to become a tightly integrated asset. Other markets seeing shifts toward nanotechnology / MEMS are Automotive, Aerospace and advanced high speed computing. If you make or use sensors, your business will likely feel the impact of current and future developments in nanotechnology. Nanotechnology enables us to create functional materials, devices, and systems by controlling matter at the atomic and molecular scales, and to exploit novel properties and phenomena. Consider that most chemical and biological sensors, as well as many physical sensors, depend on interactions occurring at these levels and you’ll get an idea of the effect nanotechnology will have on the sensor world. Program Efforts I Participated In Here is a review of some of the Nanotechnology Projects I have been involved in and what disciplines were utilized. Los Alamos Labs Supported a major modeling of molecular structures effort by designing a data collecting supercomputer environment that interfaced researchers by using 1
  2. 2. electron beam microscopes linked to imaging workstations that were back ended by Cray’s. The effort was in collaboration with NSF and consisted of SEL (Scanning Electron Microscopes) tied to Vicom Image Processing Workstations that were networked to a dedicated Cray. I designed the front end imaging system, managed the program and taught several classes on image processing. The project scope covered 750 K in material and support KLA KLA makes instruments that inspect silicon wafers for flaws and defects. These systems consist of image processing technology, embedded computing and robotic handling. I closed this account as an OEM design win by supplying the image management technology. This was a multi-year contract for 500 k per year. Future Combat Vehicle Systems This program will utilize all aspects of nanotechnology driven products including smaller sensors and power sources fueled by MEMS techniques. Robotics utilizing artificial intelligence and net – centric structures having nanotechnology at their foundations. I have written several BAA’s and SBIR’S to address nanotechnology applied to this program area. I have designed a laboratory test bed for the original FCS core program funded by DARPA . Currently active on teams leveraging UGV’s ( Unmanned Ground Vehicles) into the existing force Nanofactory Worked with this developer of TEL microscopes to incorporate Backend DSP that would do the analysis and processing of data acquired from the probe. The next phase of the project includes repackaging the system from two chassis to one consolidated system. JPL Conducted several nanotechnology projects with leading NASA Research lab in support of the Voyager and MARS Rover missions. Supported efforts in material study and composite development by creating image and analysis workstations that combined artificial intelligence with new image processing algorithms in edge detection . The initial work grew out of studies run by Honeywell Research Labs in Minneapolis where robot work cells were designed to image and identify small parts placed in trays. A system was developed that could identify and move small parts with the aid of an autonomous robot controlled remotely. Lockheed Martin Developed several projects in support of composite inspection and new lightweight material design. The efforts included an automatic bulkhead inspection workstation a system for the manufacture of dense laminate structures and a new methodology 2
  3. 3. to design very dense IC’s. In these programs I performed systems engineering and design functions as well as taught classes on image processing and analysis. I especially focused on the areas of data acquisition and upfront image compression. Several of these system designs moved from the laboratory to a deployed environment when they were packaged as portable units. I drove the redesign efforts that productized technology for the end USAF customer. General Motors Did systems engineering and managed project to develop several new vehicle technologies. The efforts were in new materials for engines to reduce their weight and an effort in door and hood composite material. The effort included automated material handling , data acquisition , material inspection and assembly. Several mechanical packaging issues were addressed through breakthrough techniques. This project effort was international in scope and lead to several follow on contracts. The initial systems were deployed at multiple GM sites. Intel Led major effort to develop speech compression technology that would be miniaturized for packaging into various consumer devices for visual and audio telecommunications applications. This effort combined multiple disciplines including Real Time Software packages , speech and video compression techniques and the test and evaluation of multiple candidate materials. I conducted initial R & D and then managed one of several business development teams based in multiple locations. We designed technology and conducted ROI studies to determine market fit and roll out. Core technology resulted in being advanced into the Intel web tablet and video phone. 3