The pessimist (realist?) in me can't avoid remembering Vernor Vinge's "A Deepness in the Sky" novel, where the perfect surveillance device is a network of "dust computers".
Toner: dead bits of nanomachines. From The Diamond Age, by Neal Stephenson.
Most ludicrously, there's no hint of political opposition or a protest movement. At no point does any character say anything like "Hey, wait, maybe clones are humans too?" or "Maybe sentient machines should have rights?"
As for clones, considering how often our bodies replace all our cells, you aren't remotely close to the same person you were even a year ago, which proves that it's our minds and experiences/memories that make us who we are. With that in mind, and knowing many other people would agree, the idea that everyone would be ok with a clone slave force is absurd. Maybe if they were brainless chunks of lobotomized flesh incapable of learning and totally empty of sentient though, but otherwise?
In a post-scarcity culture, where energy and information are more or less the only resources, what argument is there against agreeing to give sufficiently advanced AIs rights?
That said, this is awesome. Next step - useful actuation on the same scale.
From Wikipedia :
> Vinge's 2006 novel, Rainbows End, set in a similar universe to Fast Times at Fairmont High, won the 2007 Hugo Award for Best Novel.
Numerous specks of technology could be discretely placed to invisibly monitor a home, business, or personal device.
I wonder what the people working on these technologies think of pervasive surveillance, and their stance on the gradual loss of privacy trend, because that's essentially what they're enabling.
PR isn't my thing, but "smart dust" has a whole heap of potential negativity when said by the general media, or heard by the general populous. Just because phones, cars and cards can be "smart", most people want their dust to be dumb.
The article is pretty light on the technical details about the actual processor architecture.
I think their choice of naming is unfortunate, confusion with ARM's Cortex-M3 is quite likely. Or are you supposed to pronounce this "M to the third" or something?
Update: D'oh, of course it's "M-cubed". I knew that, I blame not being a native speaker for not thinking about it. :)
I'm not sure it's an ARM..
It seems to consist of "8-bit CPU, a 52x40-bit DMEM, a
64x10-bit IMEM, a 64x10-bit IROM". Those are some seriously small memory sizes, a total of 64 instructions (the IROM holds the code) really isn't a lot to play with.
Though if the silicon process technology is as good as they claim, then scaling that up a little bit (to be on-par with conventional 8-bit micros) won't be too bad. It will be interesting to see if they can maintain the kind of leakage they're talking about with a smaller process size.
AnnArbor SmartZone funding, http://www.a2gov.org/departments/finance-admin-services/smar...
U of M test track for smart/autonomous cars, http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2014/03/univer...
Early cell phones took an exceptional amount of power as well. Not simply because they were earlier tech, but because the nearest tower might be 20 miles away.
Mesh networking is going to be the new black if Io(miniature)T really takes off.
But seriously, ambient light harvesting and (eventually) a 20 meter communication range are the coolest parts of all this.
Ignoring the "smart swarm" applications I could see these being generally useful as an alternative to JTAG for other really small devices.
>...two ARM® Cortex-M0 processors are located in separate layers with different functionality as follows:
>The DSP CPU efficiently handles data streaming from the imager (or other sensors), thus is built in 65nm CMOS (Layer 3) with a large 16kB non-retentive SRAM (NRSRAM).
>The CTRL CPU manages the system using an always-on 3kB retentive SRAM (RSRAM) to maintain the stored operating program, and is built in low leakage 180nm CMOS.
For ROM, the CTRL CPU just always keeps its SRAM powered.
I can't seem to find the CPU frequencies, but I would imagine they are very low, as a previous slightly larger version in 2010 had a Cortex M3 working at 1MHz max.
My "amazing thought":
One day, these things will be like Lego. You may care that your younger sister ate one, or the dog buried that part in the garden, but you won't "really care". not like a computer, or a phone!
If standards for mesh networking and cluster computing become a tiny bit better (and more widely adopted), these things are the internet of things. Almost everything else is obsolete.
Self powered, independant micro-modules that can somewhat autonomously join and depart from processing pools mean that upgrading your "home computer" means buying more Lego (or a new table, or light-bulbs, or a car) and moving it within range of the other stuff in your house. There will be no computer, just interfaces to your local compute cluster, which you probably won't personally own much of, due to shared processing power agreements with your neighbours and friends.
I know none of this is original, and I even get that this is the "big goal" of the IoT, but It's actually happening, and we get to see it happen! (along with a wonderful new bag of problems relating to super-distributed trust, cost, control etc.)
Sorry, over-excited, taking myself off to bed now.
I think solar cells are the way to go for now, though vibration harvesting can work for some applications.
I also think these are incredibly cool! I want to be able to play with these and pick them up at the store like an arduino. The internet of things is hardly internet connected Nest home systems, though of course those count. There are a lot of hackers (in the maker sense) who would eat these things up and come up with amazing uses that academia simply doesn't have the manpower to supply. I wish hardware wasn't so hard to bootstrap, so we could get these things out en masse quickly.
Seriously though, I wonder what the setback is with using energy harvesting in general - or are we just at the beginning of the wave of energy harvesting revolution?
Also the places that could use energy harvesting are sensors networks in industry and building, and those are quite conservative industries(for good reasons) and they greatly care about reliability, and also the field of sensor networks for industry is not fully developed with applications like predictive maintenance are quite new. Same goes for the medical industry , where such sensors could be valuable.
Of course this is just sci-fi... but nonetheless...
The CPU is absolutely tiny, not much larger than the temperature sensor.
Fixed that for you.
I didn't mean to say that I fixed the grammar. I meant it as in there could actually be a microchip in your brain right now. The tech exists.