IBM’s Think Conference was last week at Mandalay Bay, and surrounding locations, in Las Vegas. Think is a first-of-its-kind combination of World of Watson, Amplify, Connect, Edge, and InterConnect – and probably other smaller conferences. Attended by 30,000, it was IBM’s largest ever conference that featured Neil Degrasse Tyson and Michio Kaku in separate keynotes. IBM will repeat Think in San Francisco next year.

I attended this year as an invited VIP. Rather than doing a disservice to the multitude of announcements and learnings, I will pick on the one that stood out to me and share that here. I tweeted throughout the conference and in my tweetstream at Also, keep an eye out at, or search for Data Decoded on iTunes, for the second Data Decoded podcast I hosted at Think, with guests Yves Mulkers and Erik O’ Neill. That podcast is on the topic of blockchain – a very key topic at Think.

The key announcement for me – yes me, a data person – actually did involve blockchain. IBM announced a blockchain-ready CPU that is smaller than a grain of salt and costs 10 cents, which it calls the world’s smallest computer! These mini-computers, the size of earlier-generation RFID chips, but with actual processing power – on the level of an x86 chip – can be distributed throughout a network to share perfect, validated, secure information on the network to all nodes and interests.

With the processing, albeit with limited memory, the CPU can perform data manipulation and analysis at the node.

There is more to come IBM related to this chip. Especially related to wireless power.

The focus on limiting size in this blockchain-ready chip illustrates the momentum to have chips and processing in everything and everywhere.

McKnight Consulting Group