What Will We Do With the World's Tiniest Computer?

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Computers keep getting smaller, and the latest version is only 1 mm by 1 mm in size. Tiny computers can be less than a grain of rice, so they will not replace your Apple or PC laptop at work. However, microscopic technology has multiple uses that range from medical research to transportation logistics.

Building the World’s Tiniest Computer

Some of the first computers could fill an entire room and weighed 30 tons. Today, laptops and desktops keep shrinking and are much lighter. However, computer manufacturers continue to miniaturize technology with the goal to build the world’s tiniest computer.

The latest tiny invention is a computer from IBM that is only 1 mm by 1 mm. It is smaller than a grain of sand or rice. Surprisingly, it is also cheap to manufacture and only costs 10 cents to make. Although this small machine is not as powerful as your Mac or PC because IBM compares it to an x86 chip from 1990, it still has a lot of potential to be useful.

Using Tiny Computers

You probably will not get a tiny computer to replace your regular laptop or desktop soon. For now, this miniature technology is not a good way for you to check emails or update Facebook. Although you may not get a tiny computer for your home office, it may show up in other parts of your life.

One potential use for tiny computers is in artificial intelligence (AI). They can handle data for a variety of AI machines. Another possible use for microscopic computers is in medical devices and research. They can enter the body to act as instruments and collect information about a patient’s health.

Embedding tiny computers in common products also seems popular. They can help locate and track shipments or detect fraud. They may also become a prominent part of smart devices. For example, a tiny computer in your coffee pot can track how much you drink and order new coffee before you run out.

Risks and Benefits

New technology always brings risks and benefits. Some of the benefits of tiny computers include multiple industrial and manufacturing uses. In addition, they may help advance medical and other types of research. However, there are drawbacks to having miniature technology. It can become an invisible threat with likely security risks. Even a small computer is vulnerable to hacking or other problems. As technology continues to shrink and becomes harder to detect, understanding both the risks and benefits becomes vital.


About the Author

Lana Bandoim is a freelance writer and editor. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and chemistry from Butler University. Her work has appeared on Forbes, Yahoo! News, Business Insider, Lifescript, Healthline and many other publications. She has been a judge for the Scholastic Writing Awards from the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. She has also been nominated for a Best Shortform Science Writing award by the Best Shortform Science Writing Project.