Thursday, 15 November, 2018

IBM fighting counterfeiters with world's smallest computer

Left 64 motherboards with two tiny computers in the top-left corner. Right The tiny computer mounted to a motherboard atop a pile of salt This teeny-tiny computer is smaller than a grain of salt, but matches a PC from 1990
Laurie Berry | 20 March, 2018, 12:31

If there's one downside to powerful computers, it's that they're too damn big. That puts it exactly on the edge of enough power to run the original Doom (the original README.TXT for Doom says a 386 processor and 4MB of RAM is the minimum).

Edible ink on a pill, the world's tiniest computer or mobile sensors on cell phones that can "detect counterfeit goods" are all suggested crypto-anchors, according to the company. This smallest computer is smaller than a grain of salt.

The announcement comes on the first day of the IBM Think 2018 conference in Las Vegas.

Packed with "several hundred thousand transistors", the computer has the processing power of an 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.

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 United States dollars.

This board holds 64 motherboards and two of IBM's new computers visible as a raised chips on the far left corner of the board.

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At the back of your mind, you may remember Tiny Computers - a British PC manufacturer that sold desktop computers to the home market from 1996.

It is therefore unsurprising the company is tackling blockchain head on and helping reduce the technology's shortcomings.

IBM says that the computers will act as a data source of blockchain applications. With their help, a device will be able to complete the basic AI tasks and track shipment of goods, fraud, and theft.

According to IBM, this is only the beginning.

This tiny computer with more to come will be embedded in objects and products used daily. 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).

Although the microcomputer may seem slow compared to today's PCs and other computing systems, there is one thing it is flawless for: cryptocurrency.

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