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Intel Hardware

Intel Gets Serious With Solar-powered CPU Tech 74

Posted by samzenpus
from the time-in-the-sun dept.
angry tapir writes "Intel's experimental solar-powered processor may have started off as a fun project, but the chip maker is now looking to extend the technology to hardware such as graphics processors, memory and floating point units. Intel last year showed the low-power processor — charged only by the light from a reading lamp — running Windows and Linux PCs. Intel is expected to share further details about the processor, which is code-named Claremont, at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference in San Francisco. The company is also expected to reveal information about efforts to integrate wireless capabilities into Atom chips for mobile devices."
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Intel Gets Serious With Solar-powered CPU Tech

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  • It's a Race (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GLMDesigns (2044134) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @09:17PM (#39096335) Homepage
    So many people are worried about how technological advances are ruining the environment. What many often forget is that technology is also the answer (unless you want to go back to a hunter-gather lifestyle and I hear that the drum/smoke-signal bandwidth really sucks, it's takes forever to download the latest movie.)

    We're in a race - computational speed, new materials, new efficiencies versus the rate in which we're polluting the environment. Many things make me optimistic: photovoltaic paints for one - and now processing power so efficient that it can be solar powered. Wow. We may win this race after all. .

  • by DigiShaman (671371) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @10:37PM (#39096689) Homepage

    And here I was thinking that the first solar powered calculators were made in 1978. They have a CPU too, right?

  • by dkf (304284) <donal.k.fellows@manchester.ac.uk> on Monday February 20, 2012 @05:06AM (#39097835) Homepage

    Reducing the supply voltage is the main vehicle to reduce power consumption, but with standard CMOS you run into the problem that transistors leak a little current when they're run at or near the threshold voltage because they don't turn off completely (you need significantly more than the threshold voltage for that.)

    Of course they do; CMOS transistors are analog circuit components. Yes, usually they're driven into a state where their non-linearity makes them behave almost like binary components, but they're very much not that. The closer you drive them to the limit, whether through raising the speed or through lowering the voltage, the more they behave like the analog devices they truly are.

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