HP makes wireless rice

Written by Brett Thomas

July 17, 2006 // 10:07 p.m.

Tags: #bluetooth #data #hp #rfid #rice #wireless

Hewlett Packard (specifically, the Bristol, UK research team) wowed the industry this week with a breakthrough new device: A chip that can hold 512KB of data and transmit it wirelessly, all in a space no bigger than a grain of rice.

The new chip is smaller than 4mm square and can hold up to 100 pages of text. Its short-range wireless transmission capability is approximately 10Mb per second, an incredible jump up from current Bluetooth and RFID tags. The chip is manufactured as a single unit including the memory and transmitter, which lowers costs considerably. In fact, it's hoped that the chip will weigh in at roughly $1.00 per unit upon commercial availability.

HP have started their marketing with implications in the health care field, where one chip on a wristband could replace entire charts. It also has a great benefit for drugs, as one could be embedded in sealed packages to assure that the drug is legitimate. However, don't expect them to be showing up next week - the chip is about two years from being brought to the marketplace. In that time, HP also hopes to increase the memory size.

A pretty neat announcement, indeed. 512KB of storage and a pretty blazing wifi... all that, and a grain of rice. Are you cooking up a thought on the matter? Drop it in our forums.
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