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This Working Computer Is Smaller Than a Grain of Rice


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The University of Michigan's Micro Mote, resting on the edge of a coin.

The Michigan Micro Mote (M^3) is believed to be the smallest autonomous computer in the world.

Credit: Martin Vloet

Computers used to consume whole rooms, but now one computer can fit on the edge of a nickel. At just one millimeter cubed, the Michigan Micro Mote (M^3) is believed to be the smallest autonomous computer in the world.

For over a decade, the faculty and students at the University of Michigan's computer science department have been working on the M^3. As the Internet of Things (IoT) gets bigger, the Michigan team is pushing to make computers ever smaller.

"The Internet of Things describes a world in which everyday common objects have intelligence -- like a toaster, a washing machine or doorknob. All of those things will someday have integrated circuits in them that can talk to each other over a network," said Dag Spicer, senior curator at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif.

From CNET
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