Scientists from University of Michigan have created the world's smallest computer system to help treat glaucoma patients. At just one square millimeter in size, the tiny device is a pressure monitor that is implanted in a person's eye.
It may be small but it packs a hefty punch, containing an ultra low-power microprocessor, a pressure sensor, memory, a thin film battery, a solar cell and a wireless radio with an antenna that can transmit data to an external reader device.
The system wakes every 15 minutes to take measurements and consumes an average of 5.3 nanowatts. It can store up to a week's worth of information. It requires exposure to ten hours of indoor light each day or 1.5 hours of sunlight.
Researcher said it is the first true millimeter-scale complete computing system. With all the components low-power and fit on the chip, people can collect data, store it and transmit it.
The unit is expected to be commercially available in several years, and is already being touted as the future of the computing industry. A network of such units could one day track pollution, monitor structural integrity, perform surveillance, or make virtually any object, according to the scientists.