Electronic computing was born in the form of massive machines in air-conditioned rooms, migrated to desktops and laptops, and lives today in tiny devices like watches and smartphones.
But why stop there, asks an international team of Stanford-led engineers. Why not build an entire computer onto a single chip? It could have processing circuits, memory storage and power supply to perform a given task, such as measuring moisture in a row of crops. Equipped with machine learning algorithms, the chip could make on-the-spot decisions such as when to water. And with wireless technology it could send and receive data over the internet.
Engineers call this vision of ubiquitous computing the Internet of Everything. But to achieve it they’ll need to develop a new class of chips to serve as its foundation.
Team member Pulkit Tandon is a 2016 Stanford Graduate Fellow.