Intel researchers announced a breakthrough during its annual developer conference in San Francisco. They said that they managed to make a solar cell that’s as small as a stamp. They would use it to power computer processors of the future.
Industry experts were amazed as to how the Intel researchers managed to make a chip that would require little amount of power to run its transistors. They incorporated solar power in the chip, which is energy efficient.
According to Justin Rattner, Intel’s chief technology officer, the prototype processor is five times more energy efficient than the conventional processors today. It is based on a decade-old Pentium processor and the researchers had to search through eBay for a motherboard that’s compatible with it.
The Pentium design is simpler compared to the present day chips. This makes the task of redesigning the circuits easier for the small research team to make it run at low power. They want to show that it is possible to make a microchip that saves power. The chip is the only component of the computer that runs on solar. The computer itself is powered by regular electricity and runs on Windows operating system.
There were several solar-powered computer concepts in the past and several solar chargers for electronic devices. Intel’s initiative could start new innovations using solar power, such as utilizing it for small sensors. This could lead to portable devices where the consumers don’t need to worry about battery life.
In other Intel news, the company said that it is not interested in buying Hewlett-Packard’s PC business. It also dismissed talks that there’s a growing gap with its long-term partner Microsoft. The speculations started when the company announced its partnership with Google and Microsoft’s announcement that its Windows 8 OS will be compatible with ARM-based chips.
Intel also unveiled its Haswell processor that consumes 20 times less that of conventional chips. The company said that netbooks with the new chip can run for 24 hours straight at full charge. It will have 10 days of standby time. The company said that the Haswell processor will be ready for the market by 2013.
Intel CEO Paul Otellini said that the solar-powered chip is just a technology demo and it has no plans of mass producing solar powered chips. But he added that it demonstrated the capabilities of its transistor technology and what it could come out in the future.