The Smallest Computer in the World Fits On a Grain of Rice

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Once more the University of Michigan has created the world’s smallest computer. We all thought that the previously Michigan Micro Mote computer that had been developed in 2014  was the real deal, but they just got tinier. The Michigan Micro Note computer measured 2×3×4mm and was fully equipped with a solar battery.

However, in March this year, the University of Michigan decided to shock us again by announcing a new computer measuring 1×1mm with “several hundred thousand” transistors.  This computer is so small that one grain of rice seems gigantic in comparison.

The microcomputer will cost less than 10 cents to manufacture. It will be able to analyze and compute almost everything.  While we are not sure whether you will be able to play Parx casino games in such a small device, it is no secret that it’s among the smallest computers out there, and will come to many other uses.

How Does it Work?

The function of this new microcomputer is to sense temperature changes with an error of 0.1 degree Celsius. The micro computer can measure the slightest change in temperature even in cells in your body. There has been suspicion by scientists that cancer cells are slightly hotter than their surrounding tissues. However, this has just been a bucket of speculation until now.

The micro computer uses a highly precise sensor that converts temperature into time intervals. They are then compared to a study interval that is sent by the base station. If by any chance this microcomputer proves this to be true, then it will open doors to developing new diagnostics and treatments for cancer. The new microcomputer has surpassed the Micro Mote.

But we can never forget that the Micro Mote will make a significant impact in helping to diagnose glaucoma from inside the eye, study small snails, check oil reservoirs, audio and video surveillance and even explore the various biochemical processes.

Understanding What it Cannot Do

The limitation in size made the microcomputer make it very difficult to run it on low power. The microcomputer is too tiny to even install an antenna like that one of a radio.  This is why developers decided to use switched capacitors instead of diodes. The computer runs on visible light. This light and any other that comes from transmitters can generate enough electric current to run the machine.

Nevertheless, critics have been on the necks of the University of Michigan to question whether these new computers can be considered a computer at all. Yes, it does have fully pledged processor(ARM cortex-MO design). However, once this new microcomputer turns off, all information will be lost.

This is unlike the Micro Mote that still retains information even when it runs in a  room that has ambient light the solar cells it can still harness energy. This is a deal breaker for many people who expect a computer to be fully functional. All in all, it is all a matter of opinion whether they have the minimum functionality required.


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