HP Unveils Revolutionary Wireless Chip that Links the Digital and Physical Worlds
July 17th, 2006

HP just developed a Grain-sized chip that could be attached to almost any object and contain almost limitless amounts of information.

HP today announced that its researchers have developed a miniature wireless data chip that could provide broad access to digital content in the physical world.

With no equal in terms of its combination of size, memory capacity and data access speed, the tiny chip could be stuck on or embedded in almost any object and make available information and content now found mostly on electronic devices or the Internet.

Some of the potential applications include storing medical records on a hospital patient’s wristband; providing audio-visual supplements to postcards and photos; helping fight counterfeiting in the pharmaceutical industry; adding security to identity cards and passports; and supplying additional information for printed documents.

The experimental chip, developed by the ‘Memory Spot’ research team at HP Labs, is a memory device based on CMOS (a widely used, low-power integrated circuit design) and about the size of a grain of rice or smaller (2 mm to 4 mm square), with a built-in antenna. The chips could be embedded in a sheet of paper or stuck to any surface, and could eventually be available in a booklet as self-adhesive dots.

‘The Memory Spot chip frees digital content from the electronic world of the PC and the Internet and arranges it all around us in our physical world,’ said Ed McDonnell, Memory Spot project manager, HP Labs.

….The chip incorporates a built-in antenna and is completely self-contained, with no need for a battery or external electronics. It receives power through inductive coupling from a special read-write device, which can then extract content from the memory on the chip. Inductive coupling is the transfer of energy from one circuit component to another through a shared electromagnetic field. A change in current flow through one device induces current flow in the other device.

Source: HP.com


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