You might not realize, but you hold probably the world’s smallest chip in your hands everyday! Wondering what that is? It’s called mu-chip and it is in your money. This technology is not very recent, but it’s rather unknown. Here is a brief article on its most interesting uses and features.
RFID technology in 0’4mm
Did you know that every banknote we hold everyday incorporates a security tracking system? Japanese’s tech company Hitachi made all governments trying to stop money laundry a lot happier. By bulding this device into the banknotes’ watermark institutions can verify the origin of a banknote. The chip memorizes a sequence of number of 38 numbers which represents its origin making it nearly impossible to comit frauds.
This technology is so amazing it and its several uses promote further enhancements.
How small is smaller?
Consider it this way. The mu-chip from 2001 measures 0.4mm on a side, so you could hide it comfortably under a grain of salt. The newest breed mu-chip measures 0.15mm on a side. So now you could hide about a dozen of them under that same grain of salt. By removing some layers, leaving only the top silicon layer, it came out with extreme thinness.
For the Japanese company, these smaller dimensions translate into two very important advantages:
First: substantially lower cost of ownership. With SOI, each device is surrounded by insulator, preventing interference between devices and enabling higher integration on an even smaller area. With the smaller chips, more fit on a wafer – in this case as much as seven times as many. That makes for dramatically lower manufacturing costs – which could potentially enable the company to break the 5-cent barrier that analysts say is needed to really launch the RFID revolution.
Second: the ability to embed the chips in paper. This opens the door to a whole new realm of applications. Anywhere paper and security considerations intersect, the new mu-chip is a very attractive contender. In fact, the technology has long been implemented in banknotes to make them more traceable, and thus making the money laundry phenomenon less accomplishable.
On top of that, such small and versatile device can be used for a much wider range of uses. It could used for animal tagging in East Asia to ensure traceability in the food supply chain, or in other document-based papers like Retail gift certificates, labels and other paper documents.
Who could have imagined that such a small object could dramatically improve our lives, and that on top of everything else, it is in your hands!
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