Scientists have created the world's smallest computer system to assist treat glaucoma patients. At just one square millimetre in size, the minute device is a pressure monitor that is implanted in a person's eye.
It may be small but it packs a heavy punch, containing an ultra low-power microprocessor, a pressure sensor, memory, a thin film battery, a solar cell and a wireless radio with an antenna that can broadcast data to an external reader device.
Developed by researchers at the University of Michigan, the unnamed unit - which is anticipated to be commercially available in several years - is already being touted as the future of the computing industry.
Its creators - Professors Dennis Sylvester, David Blaauw and David Wentzloff - assert that as the device's radio needs no tuning to find the right frequency it could link to a wireless network of computers.
The researchers' computer system is at present a pressure monitor designed to be implanted in the eye to continuously track the progress of glaucoma, a potentially blinding disease.