Body Area Network (BAN)
Like everything else, implantable medical devices are going wireless. A new in-body antenna chip from Zarlink Semiconductor is in preproduction, and should appear in pacemakers and hearing implants this year. By transmitting data to and receiving instructions from nearby base stations, BAN chips can reprogram your heartbeat at your doctor’s office or make a diagnosis from a bedside wireless monitor at home.
NAND Flash Memory
Compared to the mini hard drives used in portable electronics, flash memory is smaller, has fewer moving parts and uses less power. But until recently, flash hasn’t had the storage capacity to find its way into multigigabyte devices. NAND flash memory, however, can store huge amounts of data on tiny chips. (The NAND refers to the logic gate used in the circuits.) Last fall, Apple brought NAND chips into the hands of the public with the 2GB and 4GB iPod nano music players. Capacities will only increase. Samsung has announced that its 16GB NAND chip will be on the market before the end of 2006.