Friday, March 23, 2018

IBM unveils ‘world’s smallest computer’ at Think 2018 →

Monica Chin for Mashable:

March 19 is the first day of IBM Think 2018, the company’s flagship conference, where the company will unveil what it claims is the world’s smallest computer. They’re not kidding: It’s literally smaller than a grain of salt. 

But don’t let the size fool you: This sucker has the computing power of the x86 chip from 1990. Okay, so that’s not great compared to what we have today, but cut it some slack — you need a microscope to see it. 

The computer will cost less than ten cents to manufacture, and will also pack “several hundred thousand transistors,” according to the company. These will allow it to “monitor, analyze, communicate, and even act on data.” 

On the left of the above image is 64 of the computer’s motherboards, sitting on the tip of a person’s finger. On the right is one full computer resting atop a pile of salt. Truly remarkable! It almost looks like a speck of pepper.

IBM says it will be able to handle Bitcoin-related tasks (go figure). They also claim this type of technology will be embedded in everyday devices within the next five years. That sounds extremely ambitious and not incredibly realistic to me. It brings to mind Google and Levi’s monumental failure of a ‘smart jacket’ from last year. Either way, this kind of innovation will eventually allow technology to get even further out of our way. Imagine this kind of miniaturization for AR glasses.