Connect with us

Tech

U. Michigan Researchers Created A Computer That’s Smaller Than a Grain of Rice

OK computer!

Published

on

That’s the computer on the right (Image: University of Michigan)

Researchers at the University of Michigan may have invented the smallest computer in the world. Depending on what you call a computer.

“We are not sure if they should be called computers or not. It’s more of a matter of opinion whether they have the minimum functionality required,” said David Blaauw in a U of M news release. Blaauw is a professor of electrical and computer engineering and led the development of the new system with ECE prof Dennis Sylvester and Jamie Phillips, an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and professor of ECE.

The device, which measures just 0.3 mm on each side, is dwarfed by a grain of rice. That is smaller than a device that IBM created earlier this year. Both inventions have raised an interesting question: What actually constitutes a computer?

From the Michigan news release: 

Previous systems, including the 2x2x4mm Michigan Micro Mote, retain their programming and data even when they are not externally powered. Unplug a desktop computer, and its program and data are still there when it boots itself up once the power is back. These new microdevices, from IBM and now Michigan, lose all prior programming and data as soon as they lose power.

Whether you call it a computer or not, it was designed with a noble purpose: to use as a precision temperature sensor, ideally in oncology, where it could be used to measure the temperature in tumors.

“Since the temperature sensor is small and biocompatible, we can implant it into a mouse and cancer cells grow around it,” Gary Luker, a professor of radiology and biomedical engineering, was quoted as saying in the news release. “We are using this temperature sensor to investigate variations in temperature within a tumor versus normal tissue and if we can use changes in temperature to determine success or failure of therapy.”

If you want to read more about this little machine, there are many more details here.

 

Jumpstart a career doing something you are passionate about with one of College Media Network’s courses. Read about our current offerings, schedule and unique virtual learning environment here.

We dropped two mixtapes in six months. And we take the news very seriously.

CMN Reports

Equality3 weeks ago

Colorado Bans Conversion Therapy for LGBTQ Youth

The Centennial State moves forward in progress for the queer community.

by , The Catholic American University
Government3 weeks ago

Illinois Legalizes Recreational Marijuana

The Prairie State advances towards cannabis legalization.

by , The Catholic American University
Government3 weeks ago

New Hampshire Becomes the 21st State to Abolish Capital Punishment

The Granite State makes a huge step towards criminal justice reform.

by , The Catholic American University
Equality3 weeks ago

Maine Bans LGBTQIA+ Conversion Therapy for Minors

The Pine Tree State further progresses in queer rights.

by , The Catholic American University
Election 20204 weeks ago

Elijah Manley: The Youngest Person to Ever Run for U.S. President

Meet the youngest person ever to run for U.S. president.

by , The Catholic American University
Government4 weeks ago

Poll: More than 40% of Americans Embrace Socialism

Socialism is gradually on the rise.

by , The Catholic American University
Government1 month ago

Washington Becomes First State to Have a Public Insurance Option

The Evergreen State is going to compete in the healthcare insurance market.

by , The Catholic American University
Free Speech1 month ago

Serious Controversies Ensew Turning Point USA at University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Controversies ranging from racism to assault plague UNLV.

by , The Catholic American University

Most Read From CMN Writers