World's smallest computer

Big things, small packages

As computing devices progress toward smaller and more efficient designs, U-M engineers have taken the lead in developing millimeter-sized units capable of performing on multiple platforms.

Dennis Sylvester and David Blaauw, professors of electrical engineering and computer science, have developed units that can harvest solar power to utilize wireless communication; sense pressure and temperature; and process still images and video.

Each unit is assembled in layers and can be customized according to functionality. The range of applications seems unlimited.

Future development of this technology is going to break down the size constriction even smaller. At a third of a millimeter, these microcomputers could one day be placed inside biological cells to monitor and broadcast cellular activity. In fact, engineers are developing tests in hopes of placing these units on top of tumors inside cancer patients to determine the results of chemotherapy.

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  1. Ricky M. - 2008

    But can it run Crysis?


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