IBM reveals the world's smallest computer

IBM reveals the world's smallest computer

Andrew Cummings
March 20, 2018

Computers don't have to be big, bulky contraptions that while being quite powerful are restricted in their versatility.

Luckily, that's about to change. You can build a pretty capable little machine powered by a device like the Raspberry Pi, but that's still huge compared with IBM's latest machine.

The announcement comes on the first day of the IBM Think 2018 conference in Las Vegas.

But why, I hear you ask, do we need a computer so small?

The world's smallest computer comes with an x86 chip, Mashable reports.

The machine will pack several hundred thousands of transistors into a chip smaller than a grain of salt, and cost less than 10 cents to manufacture.

This board holds 64 motherboards and two of IBM's new computers visible as a raised chips on the far left corner of the board.

Look closely at the image above and you'll see the device both on that pile of salt and on the person's finger.

Don't worry, bitcoin bros: It works with blockchain.

It's meant to be a data source for blockchain applications, having the capability to track the shipment of goods, detect theft, fraud, and non-compliance. The computer was created to track the shipment of goods as well as detect theft, fraud, and non-compliance, according to the report. It can also perform basic AI tasks, including sorting the given data.

IBM expects to begin offering these "crypto-anchor" micro-computers to customers in the next 18 months or so.

"Within the next five years, cryptographic anchors - such as ink dots or tiny computers smaller than a grain of salt - will be embedded in everyday objects and devices", said IBM's head of research Arvind Krishna.

This tiny computer with more to come will be embedded in objects and products used daily.

The IBM researchers have already developed a post-quantum encryption method, which is submitted to the USA government? called lattice cryptography.

Although the microcomputer may seem slow compared to today's PCs and other computing systems, there is one thing it is ideal for: cryptocurrency.

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