Originally Posted by Splinemodel
The A15 is, in my opinion, maybe not the best way for ARM to go. I am still green here, and I need to do more homework, but IMHO ARM's best opportunity is to focus more energy on scaling down
. We are moving more computing power to the edge, and the first example here was the smartphone/tablet/kindle revolution. Now, the wave-riders are basically just scaling these up, feeding the marketing machine for bigger-faster in the same way that the PC market used to do 10 years ago. But the big winners will be the people who start the next wave, and that is sure to be something smaller and lighter than before. What's next: smartcards ... err, super-smartcards. I'm serious. The technologies required to produce a credit card sized computing platform, with wireless I/O and even display & buttons, are all coming together this year. The fun part about this technology is that it's another 1000x reduction of the way you think about power: PC's are concerned with watts, phones milliwatts, and cards microwatts. For microwatt tech, the sweetspot is somewhere between 90 - 130 nm, and there are loads of fabs now, at this spec.
Mark of the beast!
I'm not all that religious, but your post got me thinking of how the "mark of the beast" described in the Book of Revelation could theoretically become possible in modern times with microwatt ARM technology. I first thought of the "super-smartcard" application that you described in a non-MOTB way, but what if you lose the card? Well, you wouldn't easily lose your smartcard if it's embedded in your arm! Sure, there are chips the size of a grain of rice that can be implanted into your house pet
. However, the device simply spits out a number when a handheld reader is put to the pet's neck. With ARM SoC's, things can get really advanced compared to today's primitive remote embedded chip devices. For demonstrative purposes, we'll call the device "BeastChip".
And it wouldn't be super-hard to sell the concept to anyone that isn't a privacy or religious advocate: A GPS receiver built into the BeastChip's SoC would help find you if you were kidnapped, or just got lost like this child
. Fugitives would be easier to track down and be arrested. If you had a teenage daughter, you could electronically access her location at any time with a smartphone or PC (imagine the peace of mind that could bring). A WiFi chip within the SoC would be used to assist in GPS location when a person is indoors or otherwise out of the GPS satellites' LOS (because your teenage daughter might be in the basement of a friend's house, after her curfew).
The WiFi chip would also double as a way to connect to "BeastNet", the new all-electronic payment system that, as the system is matured and phased in, will become the required form of payment for anything. And by anything, I mean it'll replace the bulky EZ-Pass toll booth collection device currently placed on your car's windshield. And since the BeastNet system will become required payment for everything, it'll eliminate the need for toll booths on toll roads. Currently, you need to slow down and wait in line, possibly for a long time, to pay a toll, right? Well, now you'll pass under a human-free enclosure at full speed, and the proper toll will be deducted from your BeastNet account. Think this "e-toolbooth" is crazy? The state of Maryland recently introduced this exact concept
on their newest tollroad (picture of an "e-tollbooth"
Additionally, entering the subway wouldn't require the need to print a farecard or use an old-fashioned credit-card-sized smartcard. Just walk through the designated "BeastWay" open gate, just like the e-tollbooth on the roads, and the proper fare is deducted from your BeastNet account.
Now how to power the device? Some scientists recently came up with the idea of creating power by harnessing internal body movements
. Now it begins to make sense why Revelation would talk about how the mark must be located on the forehead or forearm. Both locations likely have a high enough concentration of blood vessels, whose movement created by one's pulse would be enough to constantly power a BeastChip-like device, even during sleep, while the head or arm might not be moving much. You wouldn't need a battery, eliminating the worry of how an old battery would affect performance over a potentially 100-year lifecycle. The WiFi antenna would serve as the needed antenna for all communications between the SoC and the outside world. No RFID chip is needed.
(Placing the device on one's chest wouldn't make sense, because the electronics would likely interfere with pacemakers. Even those who don't have a pacemaker one day might have one the next.)
And because there are billions of people on Earth, any BeastChip would have to be extremely mass-production friendly. If 90-130nm fabs are so common, then that makes it easy to mass-manufacture the technology quickly enough to globally roll it out in five years or less.
(No, I wouldn't want one put in me.)