Computers don’t have to be big, bulky contraptions that while being quite powerful are restricted in their versatility. The industry understood this decades ago which is why we now have the devices that we have today and not computers that take up an entire room (though we still have them but only for specialized purposes). IBM has now unveiled what it claims to be the world’s smallest computer. It’s even smaller than a grain of salt.

IBM is going to unveil the world’s smallest computer on the first day of its IBM Think 2018 conference. It says that this computer is smaller than a grain of salt and has the same computing power as an x86 chip from 1990. It’s certainly not enough for the tasks that most of us rely on computers for every day but that’s not the purpose of this chip in the first place.

IBM says that this chip is going to have “several hundred thousand transistors” and will cost under ten cents to manufacture. It will be capable of monitoring, communicating, analyzing, and even acting on data.

It’s meant to be a data source for blockchain applications, having the capability to track the shipment of goods, detect theft, fraud, and non-compliance. It will even be able to perform basic artificial intelligence tasks which including sorting through data.

IBM researchers are only testing the first prototype of this chip so it’s unclear at this point in time when we might see it in commercial applications.

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