A future covered with data-beaming sensors just got a little closer. Stanford engineers say they have produced miniscule chips that cost just pennies to make. These silicon-based components can process and relay commands, making them ant-sized controllers that can send and receive information wirelessly. Developers say the chips bridge the communication gap between sensors, machines and computers and will let them communicate back and forth.
Electrical engineer Amin Arbabian says the devices he has created are powered by the radio signals they are tuned to receive, so they don’t need any external power sources.
“The next exponential growth in connectivity will be connecting objects together and giving us remote control through the web,” said Arbabian. “How do you put a bi-directional wireless control system on every lightbulb? By putting all the essential elements of a radio on a single chip that costs pennies to make.”
“We’re ultimately talking about connecting trillions of devices.”