Malaysia rolls out world's smallest microchip

Malaysia has launched what it said is the world's smallest microchip with radio technology in a quest to position itself as a leading high-tech chip producer for a global market, an AFP report said.

The AFP report said the Malaysia Microchip was released after more than two years of research and development. The smallest version measures 0.7mm by 0.7 mm, according to officials.

The report said costing $0.06 each, three versions of the chip were developed after the Malaysian government in 2003 bought the technology and the rights to design, manufacture and market the chip from Japan's FEC.

The project was announced by former premier Mahathir Mohamad just before he retired in 2003 as part of his efforts to push Malaysia into hi-tech industries and make the country an industrialized nation by 2020.

At the launch, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi lauded the chip for boosting Malaysian technological expertise, the AFP report said.

The AFP report further said the tiny microchip holds technology which emits radio waves on multiple frequencies, which means it can be detected when embedded in paper documents such as money, or in objects or animals.

Its first commercial application in Malaysia is for tagging and identifying original versions of movies on VCDs and DVDs as part of anti-counterfeiting efforts in the country where video piracy is rampant, the report said.