Tuesday, July 18, 2006

HP Reveals Mini Wireless Storage Chip

TechNewsWorld writes that Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) has "revealed a miniature wireless high-storage data chip that potentially could compete with RFID technology in the enterprise space and with Bluetooth in the consumer arena."

According to the article, "the Memory Spot chip is roughly the size of a grain of rice with a built-in antenna and is based on CMOs -- a widely used, low-power integrated circuit design. The chips could be embedded in a sheet of paper or stuck to any surface, and eventually could be available in a booklet as self-adhesive dots, according to the company. The chip has a 10 megabits-per-second data transfer rate -- which HP says is 10 times faster than Bluetooth wireless technology and comparable to WiFi speeds. Storage capacity ranges from 256 kilobits to 4 megabits in working prototypes, which HP says enables it to store a very short video clip, several images or dozens of pages of text. Future versions could have larger capacities."

Ellen Daley at Forrester thought the "first addressable market for this product likely will be consumers looking to share entertainment via cell phones, predicts. That is where Bluetooth might face some competition."

Daley said, "We can't forget the ubiquity that Bluetooth is experiencing now. This new technology would have to get as cost-competitive, technology mature and justify rationale to change -- and that does not exist today."

Daley did point out that "on the other hand, Bluetooth predominantly serves as a short-range wireless technology with no storage capabilities."

Daley added, "Many folks will say the challenge for RFID has been the technology and cost, but our data shows the business case as being a huge inhibitor. I think similarly for [Memory Spot]. I suspect it will be much more interesting in the consumer space, but the cost has to get down very low. ... I'm dubious about the success of this in two years. I think it will take longer."