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Stick-on chips will store data anywhere

01 July, 2006

Stick-on chips will store data anywhere

Researchers at Hewlett Packard have developed a miniature, low-cost data storage chip that can be stuck on - or embedded into - almost any object and transmit its contents wirelessly to a read-write device. The HP researchers claim that the 2-4mm2 Memory Spot device — smaller than a grain of rice — could open up new applications in industrial and consumer markets.

"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," says Ed McDonnell, the project manager at HP Labs.

The chip receives its power inductively when a read-write device — that could be built into a mobile phone or handheld computer — is placed nearby. It can transmit data at 10Mb/s for almost instant transfer of documents, photos or videos. Prototypes can store up to 4Mb or data, which could be expanded in future.

Potential applications include storing maintenance records, acting as anti-counterfeiting tags or security passes, and holding machine data. The chips could be produced as booklets of self-adhesive dots.

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