Smart dust is a vision of the future in which the smallest particles communicate with each other as microscopic nanosensors and exchange information. In this vision, Smart Dust becomes smart objects that communicate via the Internet of Things( IoT).
A Smart Dust is a nanoelectronics circuit the size of a tiny dust particle that can perform a wide variety of functions. It is a microsystems engineering( MEMS) component that can be equipped with various optical, acoustic or radio sensors and actuators.
Smart dust for optical transmission, can have a laser diode and controllable mirrors made in MEMS technology. Such a smart dust cube is self-sufficient, retroreflective, has an optical receiver, signal processing, and its own power supply from thick film batteries or solar cells. Many of these tiny devices could combine as self-organizing systems to form a network with swarm intelligence. Smart dust can only be realized through the advancement of microsystems technology and advances in digital circuitry. The challenges are to fit all the circuits and components into such an extremely small cube.
Tiny RFID tags are already available. For example, several Mu chips developed by Hitachi have edge lengths of 0.3 mm x 0.3 mm and below. These chips operate at 2.45 GHz and have small memory. A further reduction in size to about one-tenth of the aforementioned edge length and a thickness of 5 µm, also developed by Hitachi, makes the vision of the smart dart a reality. Such tiny devices can be implemented in all objects and used to combat plagiarism or to track production and trade routes. They can be found anywhere and at any time.
The operating system available is TinyOS, an open-source software that supports components that make do with the smallest possible memory and low energy consumption.