Sunday, February 3, 2008

MIT and Texas Instruments Develop Low Voltage Chipset

Researchers at MIT and Texas Instruments (TI) are developing a new chip design for portable electronics that can be up to ten times more energy-efficient than present technology. The design will be presented at this week's International Solid- State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco.

TI said that while most current chips operate at around 1 volt, the new design works at just 0.3 volts. Operating this lower voltage requires reworking memory and logic circuits. One key, is placing a new a DC-to-DC converter -- which reduces the voltage to the lower level -- right onto the same chip, which is more efficient than having the converter as a separate component. The redesigned memory and logic, along with the DC-to-DC converter, are all integrated to realize a complete system-on-a-chip solution.

The researchers expect commercial applications could become available in five years.