An anonymous reader writes "A new energy efficient chip designed by researchers at MIT may use so little power that someday human body heat will be able to charge implantable medical devices.
The new chip design, which researchers say will reduce power consumption by 10 times, is being unveiled this week at the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco. The chip, still in the proof-of-concept stage, is expected to be used in portable electronic devices, like cell phones, PDAs and even implantable medical systems.
"We intend to implant these new low-voltage techniques as quickly as we can," said Dennis Buss, chief scientist at Texas Instruments, TI engineers worked with MIT researchers on the two year project. "To get to where we'd need to be with this will take about five years. Doing a research demonstration is an important step, but making it robust for commercial production will require some work."
The key to the chip's improved energy efficiency lies in making it work at a reduced voltage level, according to Joyce Kwong, a graduate student in MIT's Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and a member of the chip design project team. Most of the mobile processors today operate at about 1 volt. The requirement for MIT's new design, however, drops to 0.3 volts."
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