Intel has announced a new chip manufacturing process which it claims could dramatically cut power consumption, and boost battery life by up to 1,000 per cent.
The breakthrough is a result of the miniaturisation of the transistor etching process. Intel currently manufactures chips at 90 nanometres (a nanometre is one-billionth of a metre) but the new process works at 65 nanometres.
Cutting the physical size of the transistors lowers the amount of power they use. All transistors leak power, even when not in use, but the new process cuts the amount of wastage dramatically.
The chip giant said that the 65 nanometre processors for laptops and mobile phones should be available over the next few years.
"The number of transistors on some chips exceeds one billion, and it is clear that improvements made for individual transistors can multiply into huge benefits for the entire device," said Mark Bohr, senior fellow and director of Intel Process Architecture and Integration.
"Test chips made on Intel's ultra-low power 65nm process technology have shown transistor leakage reduction roughly 1,000 times from our standard process.
"This translates into significant power savings for people who will use devices based on this technology."
Intel is also working on other improvements, including a second version of its strained silicon technology.
This reduces the interference in the flow of electrons through a chip and significantly boosts performance while only raising production costs by a few per cent.
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