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IBM Developing Very Small Computers to Use Blockchain to Secure Products and More


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I keep my desktop under my desk, so next to my leg is a mid-tower case with an E-ATX motherboard and a CPU the size of a credit card, and in my pocket is another computer, a fair bit larger than a credit card. These are both pretty powerful devices, compared to what was possible a decade ago, especially when you also consider the size of the current devices. You have to go back almost three decades for the performance equivalent, but IBM has recently shown off a new computer it has built that is smaller than grains of salt.

The entire package of the computer, processor, memory, communications, and photovoltaic cell for power, comes to just one square millimeter but still offers the performance of an x86 processor from 1990. It can also be made for under ten cents. What is the purpose of such a tiny computer? While more may be imagined in the future, one currently considered application is to secure various products using blockchain. These computers would serve as crypto-anchors and could be used to check the authenticity of products, such as medicines, and track their sources, which would be valuable for diamonds and other resources, by following something from the point of manufacture to delivery to the customer.

IBM is currently working with prototypes of these computers, but clients can expect the first models to be available to them within 18 months and within five years, advances in various technologies may take it from the lab to the marketplace.



Source: Mashable and IBM

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