Introducing a tiny wireless memory chip
According to an article published on July 17, 2006 in the online version of BBC News, the Hewlett-Packard company has developed a new chip the size of a grain of rice (2-4mm2) capable of storing up to 512Kb and exchanging data via wireless.
The chip, known as Memory Spot, has been developed over the past four years by researchers at HP's laboratory in Bristol, UK, who claim that the chip is small enough to be embedded in almost any object and could be used, among other things, on certain drugs to ensure that they have not been falsified, on hospital patients' wristbands to record the treatment they have been administered or even on postcards to add sounds or video.
The data input and output speed of the chip is up to 10 megabits per second, much faster than that offered by other short-range systems such as Bluetooth or radio frequency identification (RFID) tags. In addition, it does not need a battery, since the devices that will read the data from the chip will provide it with power by induction. And according to HP, the amount of memory built into the chip is likely to increase in future versions of the chip.
Since all the components that make up the chip (modem, antenna, microprocessor or memory), can be manufactured as a single unit, the manufacturing cost is very low, so HP estimates that, once production begins, the chips they could cost as little as a dollar each.
"There is no question that it has great long-term potential," says Tim Bajarin, director of Creative Strategies, a California market researcher.
HP has announced that it will show the chip to high-tech industry standards bodies for wide approval. In any case, the device is still at least two years away from the market.
Source: BBC Technology