Smaller, faster microchip

Extended battery life a possibility

Scientists from Singapore's Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and US-based Rice University have created a microchip that uses 30 times less electricity while running seven times faster than today's technology.

A mobile phone powered by the new proof-of-concept chip will keep going for as much as two weeks without recharging.

The technology, dubbed 'probabilistic complementary metal-oxide semiconductor' (PCMOS), was invented by Professor Krishna Palem of Rice University, who is also director of NTU's institute for sustainable nanoelectronics.

Today's silicon transistors become increasingly 'noisy' as they get smaller. Engineers have dealt with this by boosting the operating voltage to overpower the noise, to ensure accurate calculations. This means higher energy use.

"With this PCMOS technology, noise/parameter variations are part of the overall design and are managed to achieve significant energy savings" says NTU Associate Professor Yeo Kiat Seng.

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Tags pcmosntutechnologyRice University

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