Crypto-Anchor, The World's Smallest Computer

Thursday, March 22, 2018 - 10:54

IBM has unveiled the microscopic "crypto-anchor" which is the world's smallest computer - a device no bigger than a grain of salt.

IBM unveiled the world’s smallest computer that the unit measures just 1mm by 1mm but has the same processing power as the x86 chip that ran early Nineties IBM desktop computers, Independent reports.

Presented at the company's Think 2018 conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, the microscopic "crypto-anchor" is a complete system-in-a-chip - featuring processor, memory, storage and communication module - and is essentially an anti-fraud device.

It is designed to be embedded within price tags and product packaging, tracking and logging the movement of goods during shipping to enhance supply chain security.

"The world’s smallest computer is an IBM-designed edge device architecture and computing platform that is smaller than a grain of salt will cost less than 10 cents to manufacture and can monitor, analyse, communicate and even act on data," the company said.

"It packs several hundred thousand transistors into a footprint barely visible to the human eye and can help verify that a product has been handled properly throughout its long journey."

The units - still at the prototype stage - will also serve to authenticate products bought online like foods, pharmaceuticals and luxury goods to ensure they have not been tampered with.

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