The researchers at the University of Michigan have created the world’s smallest computer that’s dwarfed by a grain of rice. And with this development, they’ve reclaimed the title of world smallest computer which was taken by IBM earlier this year.
Seeing tiny computing devices like these is fascinating, but the researchers have raised an important question about devices like theirs and IBM’s. Whether it should be called a computer?
When talking about a traditional computer like a desktop or laptop, the data remains on the device even when it’s powered off. When you turn it back on, you get back all your software and other stuff.
That’s not the case with the microdevice. It has components like processor, RAM, wireless transmitters, and receivers. But the moment the power goes off, all the data is gone. In fact, it works by contacting a base station through light for power and data.
The computer measures 0.33mm on each side while that of IBM’s is 1mm on each side. It can be used for many applications including oil reservoir monitoring, biochemical process monitoring, audio and video surveillance.
But this one is a precision temperature sensor to report temperatures in minuscule regions such as a cluster of cells within a tumor with an error rate of 0.1-degree Celsius.