MIT and Texas Instrument engineers have developed a chip for portable electronics that is up to 10 times more energy-efficient than present technology, making it last longer on a single battery charge.
In the coming years, it could be used to make cell phones, iPods, BlackBerry devices and other personal electronics last longer on less of a charge, saving energy and headaches. In medical devices, the chips might run on "ambient energy" provided by the heat and movement of the body.
The design is being presented today at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference in San Francisco by Joyce Kwong, a graduate student in MIT's Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
The circuit works at a voltage of about one-third of typical chip. The "ultra low power" design was demonstrated on Texas Instrument's MSP430, a microcontroller, but using the chip in other devices would require a re-wiring of other circuits to run on the lower voltage. It could be five years before any product on the market includes this technology.
Editor's note: This article has been corrected. The original incorrectly referred to the new discovery as a battery, rather than a chip.
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