25 May '12, 2pm

‘Inexact’ Computer Chip 15 Times More Energy Efficient

Researchers have designed an “inexact” computer chip (pictured ) that they say is up to 15 times more energy efficient than today’s chip technology. The prototypes cut energy use by allowing processing components – like hardware for adding and multiplying numbers – to make a few mistakes. By managing the probability of errors and limiting which calculations produce errors, the designers – from Rice University, Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, Switzerland’s Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CESM) and the University of California, Berkeley – say they can simultaneously cut energy demands and boost performance. One example of the inexact design approach is “pruning,” or trimming away some of the rarely used portions of digital circuits on a microchip. Another innovation, “confined voltage scaling,” takes advantage of improvements in processing speed to ...

Full article: http://www.environmentalleader.com/2012/05/25/inexact-com...

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