[PLUG-TALK] Disposabile microchips

Rich Shepard rshepard at appl-ecosys.com
Wed Sep 25 05:27:57 PDT 2019


Keith, Galen, and others may find this interesting. I skipped reading most
of The Economist's Technology Quarterly on the Internet of Things but one
reader posted an abstract of one article there where Python is used to make
single-purpose chips.

Rich

---------- Forwarded message ----------
The latest Technology Quarterly in The Economist is about "The Internet Of 
Things".

Python gets a mention in an article on "How to build a disposable
microchip". It is quite a long article, so here are the relevant extracts.

"The goal is to produce a robust, bendable, mass-producible computer,
complete with sensors and the ability to communicate with the outside world,
for less than $0.01 apiece. A prototype version, shown off at Arm's
headquarters in Cambridge, looks like a stiffer-than-usual piece of tape
festooned with circuit traces."

"The chip uses a simple form of machine learning called a Bayesian
classifier. Flexibility of use was sacrificed: to keep thinks as cheap and
simple as possible the algorithm is etched directly into the plastic,
meaning the chips are not reprogrammable."

"Since chip design is expensive, and chip designers scarce, he and his team
have been working on software tools to simplify that task. The idea is to
describe a new algorithm in Python, a widely used programming language, and
then have software turn it into a circuit diagram that can be fed into
Pragmatic's chipmaking machines. That approach has attracted interest from
DARPA ..."

Hope this is of interest.

Frank Millman


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