*NEWS*HP:CHIP THE SIZE OF A GRAIN OF RICE

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*NEWS*HP:CHIP THE SIZE OF A GRAIN OF RICE

 user 2006-07-19 at 11:52:00 am Views: 90
  • #16186

    Tiny wireless memory chip debuts
    A
    chip the size of a grain of rice that can store 100 pages of text and
    swaps data via wireless has been developed by Hewlett-Packard.The tiny
    chip was small enough to embed in almost any object, said HP.The chip
    could be used to ensure drugs have not been counterfeited, on patient
    wristbands in hospitals or to add sounds or video to postcards, said
    HP.But it warned that the device was at least two years away from being
    a finished product.

    Quick chip
    The
    chip, developed by the Memory Spot research team at HP, is 2-4mm square
    and current versions can hold up to 512 kilobytes of data.HP said the
    amount of memory onboard the tiny chip was likely to grow in future
    versions.Data can be moved in and out of the chip at speeds of up to 10
    megabits per second – far faster than is possible with other
    short-range radio systems such as Bluetooth or Radio Frequency ID
    tags.”This really bridges the digital and physical worlds,” said Howard
    Taub, associate director at HP Labs. “The digital data is attached to
    the physical object it’s related to.”Mr Taub speculated that the tiny
    chip could be used to identify drugs and spot fake pharmaceuticals or
    in hospitals to log all the treatment a patient has received.Because
    the chips were so small and easy to make they could be embedded in
    documents as they were printed, stuck to any surface or made into a
    book of self-adhesive dots.”There’s no question that it has long-term
    potential,” said Tim Bajarin, head of Californian market researcher
    Creative Strategies.All the components to make the chip, including
    modem, antenna, microprocessor and memory, can be fabricated as a
    single unit helping to keep unit costs low. HP speculated that once in
    production the devices could cost as little as one dollar each.No
    battery is needed because devices reading data from the chip will
    provide power by induction.HP said it would show the chip to standards
    bodies in the hi-tech industry with a view to getting it widely
    adopted. It warned that the chip was at least two years away from
    commercialisation.The Memory Spot chip has been developed over the past
    four years by researchers at HP’s research laboratory in Bristol, UK.