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Smart dust: The one cubic millimeter computer | Backchannel

curated by | April 16, 2015

“When Prabal Dutta accidentally drops a computer, nothing breaks. There’s no crash. The only sound you might hear is a prolonged groan. That’s because these computers are just one cubic millimeter in size, and once they hit the floor, they’re gone. ‘We just lose them,’ Dutta says. ‘It’s worse than jewelry.’ To drive the point home, Dutta, an assistant professor of electrical engineering at the University of Michigan, emails me a photo of 50 of these computers. They barely fill a thimble halfway to its brim.”

John Payne’s insight:
Perhaps just as interesting is the related MBus, “a chip-to-chip bus designed for ultra-constrained systems … a multi-master bus supporting an arbitrary number of nodes, priority arbitration, efficient acknowledgements, and extensible addressing, with only four wires and consuming only 3.5 pJ/bit/chip.”

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