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HP team develops data chip the size of a rice grain

Posted: 19 Jul 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:HP? wireless data chip? XX? XX? XX?

HP announced that its researchers have developed a miniature wireless data chip that is about the size of a grain of rice or smaller (2-4mm2) with a built-in antenna.

The experimental chip, developed by the "Memory Spot" research team at HP Labs, is a memory device based on CMOS. According to the company, the chip can 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 chip features a 10Mbps data transfer rate, and has a storage capacity ranging from 256Kbits to 4Mbits in working prototypes. Additionally, said HP, this device 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.

"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 at HP Labs, in a statement.

Some of the potential applications for the miniature wireless data chip include storing medical records on a hospital patient's wristband; providing audio-visual supplements to postcards and photos; adding security to identity cards and passports; and supplying additional information for printed documents.

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