Computers have gotten a lot smaller and more powerful in comparison to the first generation computers. The definition of the world’s smallest computer keeps changing. In 2015, the Michigan Micro Mote (M^3) claimed to be the smallest autonomous computer in the world. However, IBM just redefined the idea of “smallest” with their recent innovation.
IBM is set to unveil the world’s smallest computer at the company’s flagship conference, IBM Think 2018 on March 19, according to a report on Mashable. The smallest computer to be unveiled by IBM is allegedly “smaller than a grain of salt.” In terms of computer power, the chip has the power of the x86 chip from 1990, which is impressive considering the size. The computer is difficult to identify with the naked eye without the help of a microscope.
The report claims the manufacturing of the computer costs just 10 cents and the device houses “several hundred thousand transistors,” according to IBM. The company says the computer will be able to “monitor, analyze, communicate and even act on data,” according to the report. It can also be a data source for blockchain applications. The computer was designed to track the shipment of goods as well as detect theft, fraud, and non-compliance, according to the report. It can also sort data or complete simple AI tasks, according to Mashable.
This isn’t the first attempt by IBM to make the smallest computer, according to reports. In 2015, the computer claimed to make chips with the smallest components, according to BBC News. In 2017, the company also partnered with Samsung to build one of the world’s smallest computer chips that could triple mobile phone battery life, a report by Daily Mail says. According to the report, the chip measures “just a few atoms thick, the diameter of two DNA helices.” However, the computer chip is not available commercially.
This tiny computer by IBM could potentially revolutionize the use of computers. It so small, it can be attached to anything.
“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,” said IBM’s head of research Arvind Krishna.
The report says that prototypes of the device are being tested by IBM. Tech enthusiasts will be keeping their focus on the IBM event on Monday as it promises to showcase other groundbreaking innovations.