The Future in the Eyes of Intel

Derek Thompson for The Atlantic:

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 for such gains? "A smart phone that lasts a week instead of barely a day."