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IBM unveils world’s smallest computer, smaller than a grain of salt

IBM says that this computer has around 1 million transistors which would require microscopic vision to take a look at it.

tech Updated: Mar 20, 2018 13:27 IST
Marcia Sekhose
Marcia Sekhose
Hindustan Times
ibm world’s smallest computer,world's smallest computer chip,smallest computer in the world
IBM smallest computer is smaller than a grain of salt.(IBM)

IBM has unveiled the world’s smallest computer which is “smaller than a grain of salt”, measuring 1 x 1 mm. This tiny speck of technology is also very cheap to manufacture, costing less than ten cents. This device was unveiled at IBM Think 2018 Conference which started on March 19.

The world’s smallest computer comes with an x86 chip, Mashable reports. IBM says that this computer has around 1 million transistors which would require microscopic vision to take a look at it. This tiny computer is capable of monitoring, analysing, communicating and even acting on data. In addition to this, the computer is equipped with SRAM for memory, and a photo-voltaic cell for power. It is also capable of uplink and downlink communication using an LED and a photo detector.

This device is a part of IMB Research’s 5 in 5 project announced at the event. As the name suggests, this project is about IBM’s Research team working on five technologies based on Artificial Intelligence (AI), blockchain, encryption and Internet of Things (IoT). All these technologies are clubbed under crypto-anchors based on blockchain technology. ALSO READ: Blockchain: Benefits of this emerging technology beyond cryptocurrencies

These crypto-anchors can take the form of tiny computers or optical codes which can be embedded into products. IBM says that the purpose of these crypto-anchors is to help eliminate counterfeit products which are widespread globally. Crypto-anchors can be embedded into something as small as “an edible shade of magnetic ink”. Also, crypto-anchors are considered “highly secure” which cannot be cloned.

This tiny computer with more to come will be embedded in objects and products used daily. Using blockchain technology it will identify an object’s authenticity “from its point of origin to when it reaches the hands of the customer”.

IBM will make the first models of its crypto-anchors available in another 18 months. It also plans to make these products available in the marketplace within the next five years.

First Published: Mar 20, 2018 11:49 IST