San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Tico Scientists Create Computer Chip in Germany

Four Costa Rican scientists have created a “totally Costa Rican” computer chip in a German university that can be used commercially and medically, according to its creators.

The chip was developed by Costa Rican engineers Paola Vega, Alexander Mora, Roberto Pereira and Renato Rímolo to have three different functions that can be applied in the industries of computers, commerce and biomedicine.

The researchers presented the chip, which measures 10 millimeters, to a group of scientists in San José earlier this year.

Vega worked on developing the chip to be so small that it could potentially replace bar codes to store commercial data, while Mora developed the chip to be a smaller and less expensive way of monitoring human vital signs, such as heart and brain function, from a distance. His research is part of an initiative of the European Union that seeks to improve the quality of life of patients and reduce the operating costs of clinics.

The third function of the chip was developed by Roberto Periera and Renato Rímolo, who created “software” that allows for the rapid design of microchips. The system “allows one to do in hours what before took years,” Pereira explained.

The four engineers decided to combine developing three functions into one chip to reduce research costs.

The German Academic Exchange Service academically supported the researchers, who were also sponsored by Intel.


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