IBM computer prototype is smaller than a grain of salt
IBM computer prototype is smaller than a grain of salt
The microscopic computer is a prototype meant to use blockchain technology to track the shipment of goods and prevent counterfeiting

MANILA, Philippines – IBM has pulled the curtain back on what it claims is the world’s smallest computer at the first day of its flagship conference, IBM Think 2018.

Mashable reports that, although the computer smaller than a grain of salt, IBM claims it packs “several hundred thousand transistors” and has the computing power of the x86 chip from 1990. In today’s standards, its computing power may seem outdated but, it’s impressive for something this tiny. This prototype computer can apparently even be manufactured for less than ten cents.


IBM intends for these computers to be used for blockchain functions, specifically for tracking the shipment of goods and protection against counterfeiting – a digital ledger of sorts. This is the same blockchain technology used to track Bitcoin transactions. It can also do basic tasks like sort out given data.

This prototype is currently being promoted as part of IBM’s “5 in 5”, a showcase of research projects and technologies that they “believe will fundamentally reshape business and society in the next 5 years.”

“Within the next 5 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, head of research at IBM.

No release date has been given yet but, IBM researchers are hard at work testing the first prototype. –

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