IBM has represented the smallest in the world computer at its conference IBM Think 2018. Several hundred thousand transistors, SRAM memory, a solar battery and a communication module based on a light-emitting diode and a photocell are located in a rectangular case with an area of 1 mm2. The new chip is comparable to the x86 processor of the 1990 release according to the computational power.
A new miniature computer can be used in completely different areas: from security systems to proof of the authenticity of goods. A device with a size of a crystal salt can be embedded in almost any object to protect against theft or forgery. The mini-computer is additionally adapted to work on blockchain, so it can be used in the crypto industry.
IBM is testing so far the first prototype. Production of the miniature computer will begin within the next five years. The company expects that the cost will be less than ten cents at the same time. Previously, the smallest computer was the M3, developed at the University of Michigan.
Microscopic devices are one of the technological trends that, according to IBM, will significantly change the life of mankind by 2023. Other revolutionary trends are quantum computing, the development of artificial intelligence, the widespread use of cryptography and blockchain.
IBM is looking for new promising directions in the development of computer technology. In addition to the miniaturization of computers the company is working on the development of quantum systems. For example, recently IBM showed a new quantum computer with a capacity of 50 qubits.