Intel's Killer Idea: The Ultra-Efficient Processor of the Future

We asked Intel for its smartest new invention. This is what they gave us.

615 1NTVP_Solar_Device.jpg

Intel

The problem: Finding more efficient ways to power our electronic appliances would be a win-win. For the environment, it would mean less electricity needed to charge our phones and tablets. For consumers, it would mean longer-lasting phones and tablets.

Where great ideas really come from. A special report

The idea: Intel has developed a "concept" processor that runs full-speed with a heavy work-load, but uses so little power in lighter sessions that you could run it with a solar cell the size of a postage stamp.

What does this "near-threshold" technology mean for you? Intel told us that even with no advancements in battery capacity, this processor could extend the life of an electronic device by a factor of five. Intel Labs's ultimate goal is "to reduce energy consumption per computation by 100- to1000-fold for applications ranging from massive data processing at one end of the spectrum to terascale-in-a-pocket at the other."

The potential: A smart phone that lasts a week instead of barely a day.

Want to share your company's best idea -- or your own! -- for our Best Ideas series? Leave your idea in the comment section or email me a description and a photograph at dthompson@theatlantic.com.

___

The Best Ideas Series

Caltech: Artificial Leaves That Turn Sunlight Into Fuel

IBM: The $100 DNA-Sequencing Machine

GE: A Real-Time Energy Dashboard For Your House

Google: A Personal Translator on Your Phone

Facebook: A Social Solution to Password Security

Under Armour: The World's Smartest Shirt

Siemens: The World's 1st Hybrid Electric Airplane

Genentech: Chemotherapy Without Side-Effects

PARC: A Better, Faster, Stronger Internet

Andreessen Horowitz: A Camera That Focuses After You Click

Duke University: A Cancer Flashlight

>

Presented by

Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This wildly inventive short film takes you on a whirling, spinning tour of the Big Apple

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

Video

The Faces of #BlackLivesMatter

Scenes from a recent protest in New York City

Video

Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life

The Supreme Court justice talks gender equality and marriage.

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

More in Business

Just In