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The Silicon Review Asia

IBM just brought to light “world’s smallest computer”

IBM just brought to light “world’s smallest computer”

IBM just unveiled a computer chip smaller than a grain of salt and the details of the miniature marvel will be brought to light later today at the firm’s Think 2018 Conference.

With the collection of IBM research inventions and technologies, talking about AI, blockchain and quantum computing, the IBM think 2018 conference sounds like a place to be.

If there is any downside to computers then, it’s the fact that they are too big, but IBM has changed that fact with the creation of this computer chip, whose size could fool anyone but this minikin computer bristles with several hundred thousand transistors having SRAM memory, a photovoltaic cell for power, and a communications unit that uses an LED and a photo-detector to talk with the outside world. The chip measures approximately 1mm squared and has the computing power of an x86 chip from back in 1990.

Added to this is, one needs a microscope to see the chip with manufacturing price comprising of less than 10 cents per chip.

Although it takes less than 10 cents to manufacture these grain sized giants, it’s not something that one could run Microsoft word on.

The tiny devices are part of IBM’s vision for future technology – they will be ‘cryptographic anchors’ embedded in everyday objects, used to ensure the object’s authenticity in combination with blockchain technology.

According to IBM, this is only the beginning. "Within the next five years, cryptographic anchors-such as ink dots or tiny computers smaller than a grain of salt, will be embedded in everyday objects and devices," says IBM Senior Vice-president, Head of research Mr. Arvind Krishna.




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