Code named as Claremont, the solar powered processor by Intel will be showcased at the International Solid State Conference in San Francisco by the end of this month. Also known as the near threshold voltage (NTV) CPU, its main highlight is that it can operate even at extremely low voltage levels.
The NTV CPU is almost as small as a postage stamp and its founding basis remains the Pentium chip design. A 32 nanometer processor will be used for this CPU. Researchers have converted the logic circuit so that it operates at near threshold voltage. This technology will allow you to run the processor at 3MHz with just 280 millivolts and up to 1.2 volts when you run it at 1GHz, when greater performance will be needed.
Aspiring to make its products more energy efficient, Intel wishes to extend this new technology to other hardware including graphics processor, memory and even floating point units. Last year too, Intel had showcased a low power processor, which was charged from a reading lamp and operated on Windows and Linux PCs. Although initiated for fun, the project is now being taken seriously and the company wishes to expand the use of low voltage technologies.
The solar powered CPU might never be commercially produced, but the learning’s from the research will definitely be helpful for Intel’s future products.