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Intel's Wine-Powered Microprocessor

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the it-does-go-well-with-the-fish dept.

Intel 126

angry tapir writes "In a new twist on strange brew, an Intel engineer has showed off a project using wine to power a microprocessor. The engineer poured red wine into a glass containing circuitry on two metal boards during a keynote by Genevieve Bell, Intel fellow, at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco. Once the red wine hit the metal, the microprocessor on a circuit board powered up. The low-power microprocessor then ran a graphics program on a computer with an e-ink display."

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Genevieve Bell? Mike Bell? (3, Funny)

dtmos (447842) | about a year ago | (#44856191)

The engineer poured red wine into a glass containing circuitry on two metal boards during a keynote by Genevieve Bell, Intel fellow, at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco.

[. . .]

Low power doesn't mean low performance, with Intel now thinking about microwatts, not milliwatts, said Mike Bell, vice president and general manager of the New Devices group, during an appearance at the keynote.

[. . .]

Future computing devices will be able to understand human behavior through data gathered by embedded sensors and other wearable technology, Bell said. Projects are also underway at Intel labs to bring a more "human element" to mobility, she said.

What a poorly edited article. One never knows which Bell -- Genevieve or Mike -- is speaking.

Re:Genevieve Bell? Mike Bell? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44856303)

After the sex change, Mike became Genevieve.

Re:Genevieve Bell? Mike Bell? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44856381)

After all of the wine mysteriously disappeared, Mike became Genevieve.

Fixed.

Re:Genevieve Bell? Mike Bell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44856553)

The difference is that Genevieve is actually smart.
 

Re:Genevieve Bell? Mike Bell? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#44856669)

I think you've just misspelled "Lynn Conway". (Or was it Sophie Wilson?)

Re:Genevieve Bell? Mike Bell? (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#44858533)

Sophie Wilson played a barmaid in a BBC drama about the rivalry between Acorn and Amstrad. Not sure if she actually served himself a drink.

this just in (4, Informative)

iggymanz (596061) | about a year ago | (#44856233)

Putting dissimilar metals connected by external conductive path in an electrolyte will cause current flow.

I've even seen some outdoors website forum people going gaga over the concept that nailing a couple dissimilar metallic spikes into a tree can "make electricity". Please, just carry a spare battery for your cell phone, breaching the bark of a tree with reactive metals is bad.

Re:this just in (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44856301)

I got a good chuckle from your comment but maybe the point of the demo is how little juice is required to power the computer.

Re:this just in (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year ago | (#44856481)

I got a good chuckle from your comment but maybe the point of the demo is how little juice is required to power the computer.

It wasn't juice... it was wine.

Re:this just in (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a year ago | (#44856689)

You aren't really up on your wine theory are you? In other news. Windows isn't software, it's an operating system!

Re:this just in (2)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year ago | (#44858479)

Windows isn't an operating system, it's a remote login daemon.

Re:this just in (1)

Necronomicode (859935) | about a year ago | (#44856715)

Jesus juice maybe?

Re:this just in (4, Informative)

Penguinisto (415985) | about a year ago | (#44856491)

AC is of course correct - the point was that they made the equivalent of a potato clock [wikihow.com] , but on a computer.

IIRC, they're not even the first to make a simple electrolysis battery drive a computer [slashdot.org] . Which means we have at least one outside boundary for the typical Slashdot editor's memory-span...

Re:this just in (4, Funny)

maestroX (1061960) | about a year ago | (#44857153)

AC is of course correct - the point was that they made the equivalent of a potato clock [wikihow.com], but on a computer.

Incorrect, eloctrolysis uses direct current (DC) by definition :)

How to make a battery (1)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | about a year ago | (#44856311)

Putting dissimilar metals connected by external conductive path in an electrolyte will cause current flow.

Exactly. The wine isn't "powering" the microprocessor. It's the electrolyte. The battery is powered by the electron transfer reaction between the two metals of different oxidation potential.

http://www.how-things-work-science-projects.com/lemon-battery.html#lemon_battery [how-things...ojects.com]

Re:How to make a battery (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44856493)

what wine was it? How did it taste before and after the experiment?

Re:How to make a battery (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a year ago | (#44856725)

"The wine isn't "powering" the microprocessor. It's the electrolyte."

No. No. It wasn't the electolyte, it was the electrons! (Cue particle physicists further breakdown - excuse the pun) Also, no need for quotes around the word "powering" as the word "powering" is not only a verb, it is the correct verb. Also, gasoline doesn't "power" cars (shit ... it's contagious), it is the chemical reaction!

Re:How to make a battery (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year ago | (#44856809)

It certainly is not the electrons, those are the things being powered, having work done on them. the metals and electrolyte are doing the work

Re:How to make a battery (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a year ago | (#44856889)

I guess you didn't know that metals are made up of electrons among other things. In truth, nobody know for sure how it works, despite claims to the contrary, thus the comment about cueing the particle physicists. The one thing we can safely say is that it is a phenomenally stupid thing to say that the metals and the electrolyte that are doing the work.

Re:How to make a battery (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44857087)

It's the arrangement of the metals mediated by electrolyte that "is doing the work" on the electrons, though this is really just an energy storage mechanism. The real work was done in refining the metals into those pure forms where they could function as anode and cathode.

Re:How to make a battery (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a year ago | (#44858015)

As you just exemplified, you don't know how it works. "It is this. No it is really this. Some work had to be done to get it so it would work. That was the real work." Blah. Blah. Blah.

Re:How to make a battery (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year ago | (#44858497)

Yeah, is it really negative electrons moving around, or is it positive holes moving around in the opposite direction? Only when we manage to shrink ourselves down to subatomic size will we actually find out (the answer is probably "none of the above") lol.

Re: How to make a battery (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44857061)

when the microprocessor gets drunk with wine it powers itself. but you need to be careful because it tends to produce fallacious computations.

Re:How to make a battery (1)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | about a year ago | (#44857749)

"The wine isn't "powering" the microprocessor. It's the electrolyte."

No. No. It wasn't the electolyte, it was the electrons!

The word "it" refers to "wine." The wine is the electrolyte.

Re:How to make a battery (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a year ago | (#44858111)

See this: ; ; you should learn how to use it. (The word "it" refers to the semi-colon)

Re:How to make a battery (1)

starfishsystems (834319) | about a year ago | (#44856937)

In principle the ethanol in wine could power a fuel cell. That's what I would expect from the phrase "wine-powered".

Re: How to make a battery (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44857173)

I though hey had figured out a way to run a Windows program reliably.

this is exactly what we needed! (0)

Xicor (2738029) | about a year ago | (#44856239)

this amazing innnovation is going to set us on an amazing course for the future

Re:this is exactly what we needed! (4, Insightful)

kamapuaa (555446) | about a year ago | (#44856289)

The demonstration is that Intel has chips running on extremely low power, which honestly is kind of cool.

Using a potato clock to power it was a bit of showmanship that the article submitter turned into the main focus.

Re:this is exactly what we needed! (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about a year ago | (#44857373)

The demonstration is that Intel has chips running on extremely low power, which honestly is kind of cool.

Actually, this is because Intel developers obviously drink a LOT and probably accidentally knocked an open bottle of wine onto something in the lab. The "demonstration" is the result of the official incident write-up as an "experiment"... :-)

Re: this is exactly what we needed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44857377)

I think a missed point was being shown with this demo.

ANYONE can make wine! And with very limited resources. They've shown 'the grid' is no longer a requirement with electronics. And neither is solar.

Re:this is exactly what we needed! (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | about a year ago | (#44856479)

France is gonna be pissed when the price of wine skyrockets because of demand from everyone's mobile devices!

Re:this is exactly what we needed! (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | about a year ago | (#44856503)

Although on second thought, French wine growers are going to be really happy buying new gold plated lear jets.

Re:this is exactly what we needed! (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a year ago | (#44856735)

"Although on second thought, French wine growers are going to be really happy buying new gold plated lear jets."

Sure, but can they power them with wine?

Re:this is exactly what we needed! (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#44857157)

FFS don't let anyone invent the wine filled inkjet printer or they'll be dusting off Concorde for their gold plated jets.

Re:this is exactly what we needed! (1)

McGruber (1417641) | about a year ago | (#44857103)

Please don't whine [thefreedictionary.com] about how much wine [wikipedia.org] it takes to run Wine [winehq.org] !

Re:this is exactly what we needed! (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year ago | (#44858527)

The price of French wine is already skyrocketing because the Chinese are buying up all the wine. There are lots and lots of Chinese, and lots and lots of them are getting wealthy enough to afford wine...

Re:this is exactly what we needed! (2)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year ago | (#44856827)

yes, we can call these electrolytes with dissimilar metals in them a "power cell", and if we make a group, a battery, of them to get either higher potentials or more current , we could call them.......batterized cells? hmnmm, maybe a single word could convey the meaning.....??

Re:this is exactly what we needed! (1)

ClaraBow (212734) | about a year ago | (#44856873)

Yeah, they just leap frogged ARM! This will be the year of Intel powered phones! ; )

Re:this is exactly what we needed! (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year ago | (#44858509)

Targeted ads on your wine glasses in the better restaurants? You know it's going to happen.

wine? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44856241)

but wine is not an emulator! http://www.winehq.org/

oh, the other kind of wine

Re:wine? (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year ago | (#44856499)

It is quite ambigous, Slashdot should stop capitalizing every word.

Re:wine? (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a year ago | (#44856767)

It isn't ambiguous at all. Even ignoring for the moment that context tells us it isn't a kind of software (Only an idiot would say that a processor was "Powered by ") WINE is an acronym, and Wine is a capitalized word..

Re:wine? (1)

doctor woot (2779597) | about a year ago | (#44857191)

(Only an idiot would say that a processor was "Powered by ")

In other words it's something one should expect to find on Slashdot.

Re:wine? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44856797)

It was translated from German.

Re:wine? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44856893)

WINE = Wine Is Not Electricity

Re: wine? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44857193)

wine = wine != electricity. Perfect.

Re:wine? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44857341)

Now the question is, can the wine powered processor run Wine?

Technology? (2)

ByteSlicer (735276) | about a year ago | (#44856245)

So, is this a compact fuel cell (new tech, catalyzes ethanol into energy), or just a chemical battery (old tech, converting acidic wine and metal contacts into energy)?

Re:Technology? (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about a year ago | (#44856383)

old tech, converting acidic wine and metal contacts into energy

That one.

Could it also run on urine? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44856251)

I could see this device being very useful if it could also run on human urine. When in remote places like Mongolia, most parts of Africa or even Germany, it can be difficult to acquire wine. But it's much easier to find water, and to then produce copious amounts of urine. If we can power our mobile devices using our own urine, then we can travel the world and post our adventures on Facebook, without having to find other sources of electric power or wine power.

Re:Could it also run on urine? (3, Funny)

Smallpond (221300) | about a year ago | (#44856323)

Plus we get to name the support site Urine Trouble.

Re:Could it also run on urine? (2)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#44856355)

Difficult to acquire wine in Germany?

Re:Could it also run on urine? (2)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year ago | (#44857029)

There's Wien, which technically is in Austria. But it's nothing a little Anschluss can't solve.

Re:Could it also run on urine? (0)

Attila the Bun (952109) | about a year ago | (#44856849)

When in remote places like Mongolia, most parts of Africa or even Germany, it can be difficult to acquire wine

I can see you how you got from German wine to urine.

Cheer up, meatbags (5, Funny)

carlhirsch (87880) | about a year ago | (#44856259)

And that's the story of how Bender's great-grandpappy was born.

Re:Cheer up, meatbags (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44858143)

He doesn't need alcohol. He can stop any time he wants.

Has Shown (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44856261)

Has showed is typical American gibberish but that does not make it correct. I have contacted the Queen. Remain where you are.

Clarification? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44856275)

Was the wine the true power source? Or a mere inefficient "salt bridge" between dissimilar metals? I'd like to know if the same circuits would work in salt water rather than wine. That would clarify whether the energy was truely obtained from the stored chemical energy in the alcohol vs. galvanic energy harnessed by electrically connecting dissimilar metals.

Re:Clarification? (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year ago | (#44856843)

sure it would work grandly, but the metals would be eaten faster.

Drill for more wine! (1)

cookYourDog (3030961) | about a year ago | (#44856285)

I'm glad we're sitting on easily extractable oceans of this stuff!

What next ? (4, Funny)

eulernet (1132389) | about a year ago | (#44856321)

Wine is the first step, but why don't we use blood to power microprocessors ?

Everybody can easily extract blood, and a processor named Vampire would be so cool.

Re:What next ? (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | about a year ago | (#44856525)

The next step, obviously, is to use the CPU to run Wine, thus solving the world's energy problems once and for all.

better to just run windows and not wine+other os (0)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#44856549)

better to just run windows and not wine+other os

Re:better to just run windows and not wine+other o (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a year ago | (#44856783)

So long as we are talking about a system that requires you to give blood in order to run it's the only choice in fact. Those of us who don't want to give blood and risk infection will continue to use WINE though.

Re:better to just run windows and not wine+other o (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | about a year ago | (#44857289)

better to just run windows and not wine+other os

I guess the world's energy problems can also be solved with a big WHOOSH next to a wind turbine.

Too stupid for words. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44856333)

I can't hear this nonsense any more. The processor is not powered by "wine": any old ionic solution will do. What is powering the processor here (or the rather common novelty LCD clock "powered by an Apple" used instead) is the use of two different electrodes. The less noble electrode is getting dissolved, and that's what's powering the circuitry.

Re:Too stupid for words. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44856363)

You 'mam, are a fucking genius and a credit to the French race.

next up (4, Funny)

wbr1 (2538558) | about a year ago | (#44856337)

GLADos in a potato

In vino verilog. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44856357)

--

Powered by Wine (1)

ctk76 (531418) | about a year ago | (#44856379)

I've been telling my wife how I'm being powered by wine and its cousins. Now I have a concrete example.

One for you; one for me. (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about a year ago | (#44856437)

One for you; one for me.

This would be an automatic F (0)

Macchendra (2919537) | about a year ago | (#44856443)

in a 1950's junior high science-fair.

Re:This would be an automatic F (2)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a year ago | (#44856799)

Really? I would have thought showing any kind of CPU powered in any manner at all would have rocked their world.

Spirits (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44856551)

Hmm, I wonder if red vs white will make a difference? How about Cabernet vs Merlot ;)
May be dipping it into moonshine will allow for overclocking as well.

AMD responds with beer CPU. Seriously, though ... (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about a year ago | (#44856563)

Will AMD respond with a beer powered processor ?
Seriously, though, it's good to see Intel is serious about, and capable of, truly low power.

Ten years ago, it was a race for the most powerful processor, and Intel won*. Now it's about competing for the lowest power. Kind of ironic.

* For single threaded applications. A web server with a $200 AMD 8-core CPU at 4GHz will beat the pants off $200 of Intel CPU.

Re:AMD responds with beer CPU. Seriously, though . (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a year ago | (#44856839)

"Ten years ago, it was a race for the most powerful processor, and Intel won*. Now it's about competing for the lowest power. Kind of ironic."

It isn't ironic at all. There was never a time when CPU companies were in a race to create processors that sucked up and wasted through heat dissipation as much electrical power as possible. The goal was always to keep the devices as efficient as possible while still providing more processing power. You are mixing concepts because you have failed to use adjectives.

Re:AMD responds with beer CPU. Seriously, though . (5, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year ago | (#44857079)

There was never a time when CPU companies were in a race to create processors that sucked up and wasted through heat dissipation as much electrical power as possible.

I guess you never owned a Pentium 4.

the goal was CPU power, power usage be damned (0)

raymorris (2726007) | about a year ago | (#44857555)

For 20 years, RISC processors used 1/10th - 1/100th as much power, yet Intel was the big name brand because CPU speed was king. As Hognoxious pointed out, the P4 is a great example that people generally didn't care too much about power usage. 125 watts was a little high, but acceptable. Now 1 watt is considered a little too high, and companies are hyping 1.5 Ghz processors, a third the speed of existing offerings.

Re:the goal was CPU power, power usage be damned (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a year ago | (#44858073)

The reason why 125 watts was "a little high" then was that the technology for CISC didn't allow for much better at the time. Technology changes and the bar gets lowered. That in no way means that nobody cared about power drain and efficiency at the time, It certainly doesn't mean that companies were in a rush to create devices that drew more power. There was never any advantage to that.

" Now 1 watt is considered a little too high, and companies are hyping 1.5 Ghz processors, a third the speed of existing offerings."

They aren't hyping them for desktops; just smart phones and tablets. Since there were no smart-phones and tablets back then you are comparing two different markets completely. You might say laptops are the exception, but they aren't. There have always been lower power options for CPUs so long as there has been laptops.

RISC allowed 99% lower power and nobody cared (0)

raymorris (2726007) | about a year ago | (#44858165)

CISC couldn't go that fast without using 125 watts.
RISC could use 99% less power and go half as fast.

Everybody bought "Intel inside", even though it drew a hundred times more power.

Yes, mobile is one reason people now care more about power consumption. Waking up to it's effect on datacenter costs is another.

You said:
"The goal was always to make devices as efficient as possible"
If that were, CISC would have been dead on arrival.
Intel has pretty much admitted that CISC will be dead soon unless they cut power usage by 99% because suddenly power usage is more important than brute speed.

Re:RISC allowed 99% lower power and nobody cared (2)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a year ago | (#44858325)

It was never true that a RISC component could "go half as fast" as a CISC component, nor was it true that RISC architectures that could compete with CISC drew 1% as much power. You are comparing apples and oranges by calling the finish line 1 instruction. In other words, clocking a RISC chip at the same speed as a CISC chip doesn't make them equally fast. With RISC you need to execute a significantly greater number of instructions to execute the same source code. You also don't know what the word efficient means in the context of my statement. That being said, I've learned a long time ago that trying to educate someone with a high 7 digit SlashID is a losing battle, so enjoy your delusion.

I thought Windows powered intel? (1)

deviated_prevert (1146403) | about a year ago | (#44856589)

Or was it Windows was powered by Intel, NOW YOU ARE telling me that Intel can power a chip by EMULATION INSTEAD OF WINDOWS?

Second Law of Thermodynamics ??? (1)

pollarda (632730) | about a year ago | (#44856631)

What happened to the second law of thermodynamics? As I read this, Windows is run in Wine which can then power the chip to run Windows.....

Re:I thought Windows powered intel? (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a year ago | (#44856855)

Actually, Turning told us this long before Gates had his first abortion.

[Funny Title] (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44856591)

[Hilarious joke about the Wine compatibility layer.]

Wrong focus (2)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year ago | (#44856717)

The interesting part is not that intel made a battery using 2 metals and an acid, its the fact that they powered up a cpu and a display from such a weak battery.

Very Nice Intel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44856743)

There is no better way to reach out to the poor masses than by using wine to power electronics.

When will it come full-circle? (1)

Jay Vollmer (2882139) | about a year ago | (#44856805)

Let me know when I can run WINE on it.

Re:When will it come full-circle? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44857195)

Wine (the software) is not written "WINE".

Now, If Intel Can Make a White Shirt (1)

retroworks (652802) | about a year ago | (#44856969)

I'll be golden, my spills won't go to waste.

rich people problems (1)

supernova87a (532540) | about a year ago | (#44856975)

Unfortunately, places that have wine tend not be short on electric power either.

But I get the good intention of the demonstration.

But can it emulate Windows? (1)

Reeznarch (2465314) | about a year ago | (#44857033)

I heard you like wine, so I'm running Wine on a processor powered by wine.

Great, now people have to remember (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44857101)

Does red or white wine go with server side apps? And which one for GUI?

I guess we'll log onto Yahoo to find out.

Speaking for the lush-on-the-go community. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44857179)

This needs to be more than a tech demo for your low power components, intel. Due to (excessive, as deemed by the court system) alcohol consumption, I often forget to charge my array of personal electronics. At what point can we expect a "one for me, one for you" implementation?

Will be illegal in France (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about a year ago | (#44857183)

Changes the flavor of the wine, I'm sure.

Nice excuse, Intel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44857283)

Next time someone discover something like the Pentium bug [wikipedia.org] , Intel will claim we used too much wine and the CPU got drunk.

They're just using humans as a design template (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44857483)

I, too, am equipped with a wine-powered processor.

salvation! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44858243)

hopefully this will deter skynet from putting us all into the matrix.
afterall, wine stomped by robo feet (and controlled) by skynet tastes better ... less cheesy?

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