Monday, July 25, 2016

Resarch Team Develops Tiny Computer with Enormous Potential

A July 15, 2016 article"Tiny Computer Has Enormous Potential," covers the work of University of Michigan Researchers including TerraSwarm PI David Blaauw and TerraSwarm PI Prabal Dutta. The article reports on the team's work developing the Michigan Micro Mote, an energy efficient computer built on a cubic millimeter scale. Outfitted with sensors for temperature, pressure, and imaging, this computer is able to network with other Michigan Micro Motes with a range of 2 meters.

The computers are built in layers using a Phoenix processor. With a standby power consumption of about 2nA, the Michigan Micro Mote is able to power its battery using artificial, ambient light and a 1mm2 photovoltaic cell. The solar module also serves as the mechanism to program the machine through a pattern of flashing light. Possible applications for these micro computers include medical devices, environmental monitoring, and surveillance. Going forward the research team hopes to increase the communication range for the Michigan Micro Mote and continue work on developing even smaller machines.

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