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World's Smallest Computer, Size of Salt Grain, to Monitor Fraud

World's Smallest Computer, Size of Salt Grain, to Monitor Fraud
(IBM)

By    |   Thursday, 22 March 2018 09:49 AM

The world's smallest computer will be about the size of a grain of salt but strong enough to monitor fraud in global supply chains, IBM claimed as it rolled out the prototype that's still about five years away.

The computer, which will cost less than 10 cents to make, will be loaded with "several hundred thousand transistors" that will allow it to "monitor, analyze, communicate, and even act on data," the company said at its IBM Think 2018 conference on Monday, the tech website Mashable reported.

The ultra-tiny computer will be a data source for blockchain applications to track shipment of goods, and detect theft, fraud, a noncompliance, all currently huge concerns for the emerging cryptocurrency players like bitcoin, Mashable said.

IBM's "crypto anchor" program plans to use a range of methods as what it hopes will be high-tech watermarks for products so they can be distinguished from counterfeits and bring much-needed security to the blockchain, TechCrunch reported.

The chip, sized at one millimeter by one millimeter, comes with a solar cell, a communication module and the power of a 1990 chip.

IBM said the tiny computer is still a prototype in its lab and will take another five years to fine tune, TechCrunch noted.

"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 Arvind Krishna, IBM head of research, per Mashable.

IBM’s website said crypto-anchors can take many forms, such as tiny computers or optical codes, but when they are tied to a blockchain "they represent a powerful means of proving a product's authenticity," making their promise highly anticipated.

"For example, crypto-anchors can be embedded into an edible shade of magnetic ink, which can be used to dye a malaria pill," website said. "The code could become active and visible from a drop of water letting a consumer know it is authentic and safe to consume.”

"Crypto-anchors are highly secure because they are embedded in the product and consist of cryptographic mechanisms that provide unclonable identification. These crypto-anchors pave the way for new solutions that can combat fraud and protect consumers."

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The world's smallest computer will be about the size of a grain of salt but strong enough to monitor fraud in global supply chains, IBM claimed as it rolled out the prototype that's still about five years away.
worlds, smallest computer, fraud, monitor
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2018-49-22
Thursday, 22 March 2018 09:49 AM
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