IBM goes super-micro; will manufacture this 7 rupee solar powered blockchain processor

Last Updated: Thu, Mar 22, 2018 11:41 hrs
IBM Processors

IBM computers's next revolution is a super-micro processor, as small as a grain of salt, that looks at slimming the current crop of computers.

The processor unveiled at the IBM's Think 2018 conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, revealed a processing unit measuring a measly 1mm X 1mm that offered processing juice similar to x86 chip machines from the early nineties. The IBM processor packed several hundred thousands of transistors into a chip smaller than a grain of salt. According to IBM's own estimates the processor may cost less than 10 cents or Rs 6.51 to manufacture (1 USD = Rs 65.10).

To give you a perspective, Intel's Kaby Lake processors, the one's powering the 14 nano-meter quad core 7th generation and 8th generation on the i7 line-up work on a die size of 42 mm X 28 mm.

According to IBM, the microscopic "crypto-anchor" was a complete system-in-a-chip - featuring processor, memory, storage and communication module - and is essentially an anti-fraud device.

The small size does not mean processing power as IBM says that the the processor is not built for "heavy-lifting". The processor has been designed to work alongside blockchain technology and helps track goods, monitor, analyse and sort data.

These processors will be linked to blockchain and IBM calls them crypto-anchors, "tamper-proof digital fingerprints". The processors have been built to work on Solar power and would be using LED lights to communicate with a network. IBM officials said that researchers were working at developing more chips to be embedded into such products.

Additionally connecting such chips to a blockchain would provide "a powerful means of proving a product's authenticity".

The product is still in research and beta phase, and customer-availability was pegged anywhere from 18 months to five years. "within the next five years, cryptographic anchors and blockchain technology will ensure a product's authenticity — from its point of origin to the hands of the customer," said Arvind Krishna, a Senior Vice President and Director of Research at IBM.

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