Intel demonstrates ultra low-power processor

Computing

Intel demonstrated a CPU at their IDF conference that can run on the energy generated by a small solar cellDuring the opening keynote at this year’s (2011) Intel Developer Forum (IDF) conference held in San Francisco, showcased a low power processor developed by Intel Labs.

Calling onto stage Sriram Vangal, principal research scientist at Intel, they demonstrated a processor running on a small solar cell. Vangal explained that the processor was running at near the threshold voltage of its transistors, but was still able to run Windows and display an animation. The animation seemed to be an animated gif and showed a kitten wearing headphones.

To prove that that processor was indeed running off of the solar cell, Vangal put his hand between it and the light source, causing the computer to lock up.
While the benefits of technology like this for South Africans and other developing nations is obvious, Otellini said that they have no plans to turn solar powered computing into a product yet.

The purpose of the research and the demonstration was to show off Intel’s work in reducing processor power requirements to increase battery life, tying in with their push into the so-called “Ultrabook” and smartphone markets.