by Sumner Lemon

HP Touts Tiny Memory Spot Chip

Sep 15, 20061 min
Enterprise Applications

Hewlett-Packard has created a prototype wireless memory chip the size of a grain of rice that holds up to 4 megabits and attaches like a sticker to paper or plastic. HP says its Memory Spot, which includes a built-in antenna, could be used to attach digital information to documents, photos and packages. For example, companies could add audio or video clips to brochures, or place authenticity data on packaging.

The chip’s antenna can transfer data at speeds up to 10Mbps, about 10 times faster than Bluetooth technology and close to the speed of Wi-Fi. Data on a Memory Spot could be accessed using specialized reader devices, as well as cell phones, PDAs, cameras and printers, if HP can convince device-makers to build in readers.

While not expected to ship commercially for several years, a Memory Spot can store more data than radio frequency identification technology.

The chip’s size could also help corporate thieves steal data, though this risk can be managed, via the same type of strong security policies that you should already be imposing to cover risks like portable USB drives, says James McQuivey, a professor at Boston University’s College of Communication.