Kin Lane

New Millimeter-Scale Computer

The University of Michigan Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science has announced a prototype millimeter-scale computer along with their paper on the subject at at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco.

The compact computer can be used to launch a network ofmillimeter-scale wireless sensors. These networks could one day track inventory, pollution, monitor structural integrity, perform surveillance, make any object smart and trackable, and be implanted in animals and humans.

The work being led by professors Dennis Sylvester and David Blaauw, and assistant professor David Wentzloff is targeting the medical industry initially. The university is pursuing patent protection for the intellectual property, and then will see commercialization partners to help bring the technology to market.

First the researchers need to work on lowering the radio's power consumption so that it's compatible with millimeter-scale batteries.

A very interesting step toward a world where computers are ubiquitous, present in virtually any object or life form.