An anonymous reader writes: MIT and Texas Instruments researchers have designed a chip that they say could be up to 10 times more energy efficient than current technology. The chip's power consumption is so low that devices with the chip may even be able to be recharged using the owner's body heat. MIT researchers claim that implantable medical devices such as pacemakers using the chip could be powered indefinitely by a person's body heat or motion without the need for a battery. MIT professor Anatha Chandrakasan says the key to improving energy efficiency was finding ways of making the circuits on the chip work at a lower voltage level. Most chips operate at about 1.0 volt, but the new chip works at just 0.3 volts. The researchers were able to build a high-efficiency DC-to-DC converter that could reduce the voltage to a lower level on the chip, reducing the number of separate components. The chip is still in a proof of concept stage, though Chandrakasan says that commercial applications could be possible within five years.
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