Saturday, February 24, 2007

Beyond Memory Spot & Memory Dust to Memory Powder

Hitachi’s new RFID chips, pictured here highlighted next to a human hair, are 64 times smaller than their first super miniature - mu-chips. Image Credit: Hitachi

Beyond Memory Spot & Memory Dust to Memory Powder

Symblogogy visited the Popular Science Magazine's "Best Of What's New - 2006" breakthrough and application of Memory Spot manufactured by Hewlett-Packard thinking that this form factor was pretty much about as small as RFID would or could get ... and then along comes Hitachi.

It turns out that they have been miniaturizing RFID memory ID devices for awhile now and getting these devices down to a rough dust size ... the "dust" just got smaller.

mu-chip size as compared to a grain of rice. Image Credit: Hitachi

The breakthrough announced by Hitachi in Japan (February 13, 2007) has the size of an RFID capable particle going from a 0.4 X 0.4 mm square "mu-chip", to last year's breakthrough at 0.15 X 0.15 mm square all the way down to a 0.05 X 0.05 mm square powder size.

One wonders what additional applications are achieved just by going from "dust" to "powder" because the dust was already targeted for use by embedding in paper documents such as checks, paper currency, retail gift certificates, and covert tag identification.

Diagram of mu-chip in an embed application in sensitive and trace documents. Image Credit: Hitachi

The cost is unknown, but at a 5 micron thickness one can imagine powdering an area to help identify, at a later time, who or what may have visited the area that had been powdered. Hitachi said that the powder will be commercially available in 2 to 3 years.

Would anyone notice this RFID powder if it were placed into food or even drug items? Just asking.
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