Gadgets

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IBM starts off the IBM Think 2018 conference with the world’s smallest computer, designed to change lives in the next five years. The computer is even smaller than a grain of sea salt but is capable of doing gigantic things.

World’s Smallest Computer by IBM

IBM has designed the world’s smallest computer to deliver the capabilities of the blockchain. A blockchain contains a growing list of records called blocks that are connected and protected by cryptography. A block is naturally resistant to data modification that guarantees a secure transaction, particularly against hackers. In other words, it is a digital ledger that cannot be corrupted or copied but can be distributed.

One of many applications of blockchain technology is in logistics and tracking services. With IBM’s tiny computer, a company can use blockchain to improve management and tracking of products, raw materials, and supplies. Another application of blockchain is counterfeiting to prevent fake items from mixing with the real ones. Other purposes of the tiny computer include sensing certain conditions, performing minor calculations or sending small data using the internet.

Components of the Tiny Computer

According to The Verge, the processor of the computer has several hundred thousand transistors, an SRAM memory, a solar power cell, an LED, and a photodetector to communicate with the outside world. The CPU has a performance capability of an x86 chipset from 1990, similar to a 386 processor and 4 MB of RAM. It has a size of about one millimeter across that toppled the former world’s smallest computer in 2015 called Michigan Micro Mote, with a size of two millimeters across.

The tiny computer is still a project under research that is expected by IBM to be ready within five years.