Pass the chips
University of Alberta researchers have designed a computer chip that uses
about 100 times less energy than current state-of-the-art digital chips. The new microchip is 10 times smaller and 100 times more energy-efficient than currently
The greatly reduced energy consumption of the new technology would improve the performance of small devices with relatively low power needs.
For instance, the technology could one day eliminate the need to recharge cell phones, help introduce smaller, ultra-high-speed communications systems, and advance the use of implantable health care devices, such as drug delivery chips. Research and development is ongoing before this technology can be implemented in products.
The invention employs a new method of processing digital data, known as analog decoding, which uses extremely low levels of power to execute its detection algorithm. Research shows that no other reported chip uses a lower amount of energy consumed per decoded information bit.
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Read more science stories in the DEC. 2004/JAN. 2005issue of "Arte Six."