The research team initially made the smallest computer named Michigan Micro Mote with a size of 2 x 2 x 4 millimeters. IBM then showcased a computer with a smaller size, which is 1 x 1 millimeter.
Unlike ordinary computers, the computer "made by this research team uses photovoltaics, a method to convert light into electricity.
This computer consists of a processor, memory, as well as a wireless transmitter and receiver that sends and receives data via light. The computer is also equipped with a base station in charge of supplying light and the program also accepts all data transmissions.
Currently, this super little computer is used as a temperature sensor. It uses an electronic tap to turn the temperature into intermittent intervals. That way, the computer will be able to display the temperature of a bunch of tumor cells with an error rate of 0.1 degrees Celsius.
"Given this small and biocompatible temperature sensor, we can plant it into a mouse, letting the cancer cells grow around it," says Gary Luker, Professor of Radiology and Biomedical Engineering.
"We use these temperature sensors to investigate temperature variations in tumors compared to temperature variations in normal cells and we can make changes in temperature to determine the success of the therapy."
In addition to being used in the medical industry, this computer can also be used for other purposes, such as audio and video surveillance, monitoring of oil tanks, cancer studies and so on.