The word biocomputer implies the mechanization of biological and chemical processes, but like electronic computers such mechanization is defined by the use to which it is put. The products being developed by Orchid Biocomputer Inc. use miniaturization and microfluidics technology to perform a wide range of laboratory functions in a palm-sized chip.

Orchid's miniaturized technology allows the production of systems that would be prohibitively expensive on a normal scale, reduces sample sizes, and allows more efficient high throughput automation of lab processes than multiple large pieces of equipment, said Chairman, President and CEO Dale Pfost.