Researchers are zeroing in on shrinking chips and vastly bumping up energy efficiency without many of the disadvantages that threaten to derail the onward march of Moore’s Law. According to PhysOrg.com, a team from the University of Michigan is pursuing a method called near-threshold computing (NTC) that can result in super-low voltage chips that shatter the constraints encountered by electrical engineers and live up to their full design potential.
As researcher Ronald Dreslinski explains to PhysOrg.com…
“The major impact of the work is that, for a fixed battery lifetime, significantly more transistors can be used, allowing for greater functionality. Particularly, [NTC allows] the full use of all transistors offered by technology scaling, eliminating ‘Dark Silicon’ that occurs as we scale to future technology nodes beyond 22 nm where ‘more transistors can be placed on chip, but will be unable to be turned on concurrently.'”
There are still some hurdles to overcome, but if NTC can lead to low-power servers and mobiles with days worth of battery life, then yes, please!