As we all know microprocessor designers are doing whatever they can to drop the voltage required to run microprocessors to the bare minimum in order to reduce the power consumption.
Basically you can divide a microprocessor into two distinct parts – the logic and the memory. Each part feeds off its own power supply and therefore you can optimizer the two supplies and lower the voltage more aggressively for the logic part than for the memory part.
There is, however, one major caveat. The logic part of a processor also contains a small amount of memory known as the register file. The register file has until now determined how much you could lower the voltage. Even if the logic part could afford a slightly lower voltage then the registers would stop working.
Now Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) has managed to manufacture an experimental processor where the requirements are the same for logic and registers – and well below 1V. Intel’s Chief Technology Officer Justin Rattner showed off the processor during IDF in San Francisco last week.
When introduced in commercially available processors we can look forward to an even lower power consumption. No word yet on when exactly this might happen.S|A
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