IBM Demonstrates Computer Smaller than Salt Grain

Article By : Jonas Klar, EE Times Asia

Solar powered 1x1mm computer cheap enough to be put literally anywhere

IBM Think 2018 is in full swing, with day one being headlined by a yet-unnamed computer smaller than a grain of salt. Being positioned as a crypto-anchor, IBM envisions a future where ultra-cheap chip consisting of several hundreds of thousands of transistors to market are going to “do more than authenticate physical goods.”

According to IBM, the miniscule computing platform will be able to “monitor, analyze, communicate, and even act on data” while coming at a manufacturing cost of less than $0.10 USD. It is intended to prevent counterfeiting of products, utilizing blockchain tech to enable “new solutions that tackle food safety, authenticity of manufactured components, genetically modified products, identification of counterfeit objects and provenance of luxury goods.”

While just a prototype at this stage, IBM Head of Research Arvind Krishna envisions a future filled of cryptographic anchors such as this easy-to-lose chip being integrated into “everyday objects and devices,” owing to its low cost.

IBM Salt grain computer overview

Naturally, no launch dates are being announced, but IBM and Mr. Krishna are predicting that tiny cheap chips are to be found everywhere within the next five years.

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