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IBM unveils the ‘World’s Smallest Computer,’ and it works with Blockchain | IBM Think 2018

by Felix Omondi

Undoubtedly, we are living in an age when computing power is strongest and fastest yet. However, true to human nature, we are never satisfied in our quest to perfect things while making work easier. IBM might have ushered the world into a whole new world of nanocomputing never seen before. The company says it has developed the “world smallest computer.”

Computer these days come in small sizes; at least when compared to the ones in the old days. However, if you need a powerful computer (the mainframes and the likes), you will have to get a bigger room for the damn thing.

IBM thinks that should not be necessarily the case. You can have a supercomputer, but not sacrifice your space and mobility. In fact, the company has debuted a computer smaller than a grain of salt at its IBM Think 2018; the company’s flagship conference.

While the tiny computer might claim the title for the world’s smallest computer, it comes with the computing power of an x86 chip from the 90s. That is obviously not so great! Nonetheless, you cannot fail to appreciate the level of innovation that went into creating a computer smaller than a grain of salt. That in itself is an impressive milestone; the next challenge, of course, being to make the damn thing more powerful. At least as by today’s standards if not better!


Left: 64 motherboards making two tiny computers.
Right: The tiny computer mounted onto a motherboard then place on top of a pile of salt

The small computer also comes with small budget. IBM says it costs less than ten cents to manufacture one unit, though it comes packed with “several hundred thousand transistors.” The company says this tiny computer will be able to “monitor, analyze, communicate, and even act on data.”

To Bitcoin fans. Yes! This tiny computer works with blockchain, and that is just the beginning. “Within the next five years, cryptographic anchors – such as ink dots or tiny computer smaller than a grain of salt – will be embedded in everyday objects and devices,” said Arvind Krishna, the head of research at

There is no official communication from IBM as to when we can start to see shipments of the tiny computer; researchers at IBM say they are still tweaking their first prototype.

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