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Singapore-US scientists first to develop revolutionary microchip that uses 30 times less energy
Date:2/9/2009

Leaving your mobile phone charger at home when you go for a two week long vacation may just be the norm one day as scientists from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Rice University, United States, have successfully created a microchip that uses 30 times less electricity while running seven times faster than today's best technology.

The technology, dubbed PCMOS (probabilistic complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) was invented by Professor Krishna Palem of Rice University and Director of NTU's Institute for Sustainable Nanoelectronics (ISNE). The U.S.-Singapore team making the announcement is led by Professor Palem and NTU's Associate Professor Yeo Kiat Seng, Head of Division of Circuits and Systems, School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (EEE), College of Engineering.

The team's goal is green computing. They are looking for applications where PCMOS can deliver as well as or better than existing technology but with a fraction of the energy required.

"Probabilistic design methodology, if used for consumer devices, would result in energy efficient devices," says Professor Palem who conceived probabilistic design. "For example, for consumers, it could mean the difference between charging a cell phone every few weeks instead of every few days. In addition to the encryption application that we have demonstrated, among other applications, it is equally well-suited for computer graphics."

Professor Palem explains that in streaming video application on a cell phone for example, it is unnecessary to conduct precise calculations. The small screen, combined with the human brain's ability to process less-than-perfect pictures, results in a case where the picture looks just as good with a calculation that is only approximately correct.

Dr Natalie Kong Zhi Hui, Teaching Fellow, in NTU's EEE and a member of team, says "Our technology is a significant contributor towards environmental-friendliness green computing
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Contact: Hisham Hambari
mhisham@ntu.edu.sg
656-790-6447
Nanyang Technological University
Source:Eurekalert

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