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HP Announces Tiny Wireless Memory Chip 137

Hewlett-Packard researchers have developed a memory chip with wireless networking capabilities that is roughly the same size as a grain of rice, the company said Monday. Prototypes of the Memory Spot chip developed by HP Labs contain 256 kilobits to 4 megabits of memory and can transfer data wirelessly at speeds up to 10Mbps. There are eight bits in a byte. This amount of storage allows the chips to hold a short video clip, digital pictures or "dozens of pages" of text, HP said, adding that the chips do not require a battery. Memory Spot chips get their power using a technique called inductive coupling, which allows power to be transferred from one component to another through a shared electromagnetic field. In the case of Memory Spot, this power is supplied by the device that is used to read and write data on the chip. Data stored on Memory Spot chips could be accessed using a variety of devices, such as specially equipped cell phones or PDAs, making them suitable for a range of applications, such as adhesive attachments applied to a paper document or printed photograph, HP said.

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