There are silicon chips that perform logic functions that we are familiar with in our computers and phones, they come in 2 flavors digital and analog. A very fast emerging world of what I call functional chips is emerging. Functional chips are those that perform some physical function, chemical analysis, mechanical action etc. on very small scales.
Functional chips are a huge and growing market. Everyday new things are happening in the space. This isn't nano-tech per se, but can be huge financially. Nano-tech gets overhyped. Micro-tech will be bigger first and already is if one includes the logical chip market.
Nanotech products will probably dwarf micro-tech products, but for now those nanotech products are mostly plain old materials sciences. The real leap in nano-tech will be industrially scalable platforms with multiple subsystems integrated with interfaces to micro systems. This is an eco system that needs to be built down from micro-systems and built up from the nano-tech world. That means bridging 2 order of magnitude in variances and wildly different sets of boundary and physics issues. Prepare to wait for lots of nano-tech platforms and products at least 7-15 years out. We are still discovering amazing things with functional micro-tech.
This article on bubble logic indicates the potential for making microfluidic chips more functional and flexible. When combined with mems technology the toolkit for biochip development and cheap sequencing just got better.
Genetics, pharmaceuticals and Chemistry will get safer, faster and smarter, very rapidly. Expect more developments in microfluidics and mems technology for altering the chemical environments on chips, micro-environments, cryonics and centrifuges as well as variable pressure environments are all needed.
Anyone for a disposable micro-spectrometer for on chip analysis? This will then be proceeded by companies specializing in combining the sub assemblies on a chip custom made to order.
Eventually these functional chips may be Generalized like VLSI with lots of sub-optimal "wasted" components. These functional chips will most likely become a bigger market than today's logic chips, when used in massive arrays like factories.