This is one of those things that seems obscure, but is pretty significant. Some researchers at Berkeley are developing processes to integrate MEMS and the electronics that control them on the same chip.

The ability to stack MEMS on top of electronics could lead to technology like true Smart Dustcheap wireless sensors the size of sand grains under development at Berkeleyand wristwatches outfitted with mobile phones.

The Berkeley engineering school’s online magazine is worth reading reguarly: it has some rather good articles, and of course lots of stuff is happening there.

One other things about the article caught my eye: it includes a picture of one of the PIs, with the caption, “Professor Tsu-Jae King also researches novel transistor designs to keep Moore’s Law alive.” This reflects an interesting attitude towards Moore’s Law in Silicon Valley. Sometimes it’s treated like a law of nature, and disobeying it would be as unthinkable as casting aside gravity; and at the same time, people recognize that an immense amount of effort is required to “keep it alive.” Doubling processor power every 18 months: it’s not just a good idea, it’s the Law.