Chargers for iPods, all of which are made by Apple Inc., have become increasingly small over just a few years. They are in order of age, oldest left, newest right.

Miniaturization (Br.Eng.: Miniaturisation) is the creation of ever-smaller scales for mechanical, optical, and electronic products and devices. Miniaturization is a continuing trend in the production of such devices.

Items which take up less space are more desired than items which are bigger and bulkier because they are easier to carry, easier to store, and much more convenient to use.



Early development

The trend can be traced back to ancient times both as an abstract science and as a physical practice, beginning with the atomic theories of the nature of matter and the use of early microscopes. These first instances of miniaturization eventually led to the creation of current sciences such as nanotechnology and molecular nanotechnology.

Background to modern development

In the 1950s, products used in the construction of rockets, guidance and telemetrical systems, satellites and space stations needed to be light, yet rugged, with the ability to withstand wide variation in temperature, pressure and stress. Space technological research (some of which initially seemed to have no economic significance, but perhaps due to the Space Race) led to the development of new materials, e.g. new types of rubber resistant to extremes of hot and cold, new alloys notable for their lightness and toughness, ceramics that are unbreakable, and plastics, which neither melt nor decompose with the application of extreme heat. One of the most important ideas derived from space technology is miniaturization which led to microminiaturization and subminiaturization. Conventional industries then made use of these commercially beneficial ideas.

In electronics, miniaturization was witnessed by an empirical observation called Moore's Law that predicted that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit for minimum component cost doubles every 18 months.[1][2]



Nanotechnology is one category of the miniaturization process. Some scientists are actually searching for a way to create a car with the use of this technology.[3]

In science fiction

Miniaturization is also a theme of science fiction. Besides referring to redesigning products to make smaller ones, miniaturization in science fiction also refers to shrinking objects and people.

See also


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • miniaturization — n. The act or process of making on a greatly reduced scale. Syn: miniaturisation. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • miniaturization — (n.) 1947, from MINIATURIZE (Cf. miniaturize) + ATION (Cf. ation). Minification in this sense attested from 1904, on analogy of magnification …   Etymology dictionary

  • miniaturization — (Amer.) mɪnÉ™tʃəraɪ zeɪʃn / tjÊŠr n. reduction to tiny size, act of creating something in a miniature form (also miniaturisation) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • miniaturization —  Miniaturization  Миниатюризация   Цель многих технологий. Миниатюризация технических изделий стала одной из движущих сил развития высокотехнологических систем в конце XX и начале XXI века. Помимо соображений экономии материальных и… …   Толковый англо-русский словарь по нанотехнологии. - М.

  • miniaturization — miniatiūrizacija statusas T sritis fizika atitikmenys: angl. miniaturization vok. Miniaturisation, f; Miniaturisierung, f rus. миниатюризация, f pranc. miniaturisation, f …   Fizikos terminų žodynas

  • miniaturization — noun see miniaturize …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • miniaturization — the evolution of small size, e.g. in various cyprinid and gobiid fishes. Paedocypris progenetica, a cyprinid, is arguably the smallest fish and vertebrate at 7.9 mm standard length and Schindleria brevipinguis, a gobiid, has males mature at only… …   Dictionary of ichthyology

  • miniaturization — See miniaturize. * * * …   Universalium

  • miniaturization — noun a) the act or process of miniaturizing or making smaller b) something that has been miniaturized or made smaller …   Wiktionary

  • miniaturization —    see minification …   Dictionary of Hallucinations

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