Sharp says it has made an "epoch-making" step towards making ultra-flat "sheet computers" after it succeeded in running a computer on a tiny piece of glass.
The functioning tiny circuit board, from a Sharp central processing unit (CPU) originally made in 1977, is imprinted on a piece of glass some 15mm square and 1mm thick.
The computer's power is only eight bits compared to today's common 32-bit machines and has a speed of 2.5MHz compared to today's 2.8GHz giants, but Sharp is adamant that it represents a revolution in computing.
Sharp spokesman Tetsuya Igarashi said that putting a CPU onto glass had previously been thought impossible.
Liquid crystal displays, their drivers and power supplies could be integrated within the same plate of glass, embedded in a silicon membrane and become the first step on he road towards ultra-thin "sheet computers" and "sheet TVs", said Sharp.
It hopes to turn its technology into a working product by 2005, in such products as small mobile TVs and personal digital assistants.
Sharp also said the invention would increase computer stability and cut down on the size and complexity of PCs.
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