Intel aims to lower PC power consumption by 300 times in 10 yrs

Intel aims to lower PC power consumption by 300 times in 10 yrs

San Francisco: The world’s largest chip-maker Intel Corporation on Friday said it is working on a host of futuristic technologies that would improve the power efficiency of personal computers (PC) 300-fold in the next 10 years, as well as ensure the security of data and user identities.

Speaking on the final day of the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) 2011 here, Intel chief technology officer Justin Rattner said the company was developing technologies to take computing to the next level, with better performance and lower power consumption.

Energy efficiency was a key theme of the three-day IDF summit this year and a number of Intel executives demonstrated the efforts being taken by the company in this regard. The move assumes significance in light of consumers gravitating toward always-on computing devices with a greater degree of mobility.

Rattner said that Intel’s multi-core technology, in which more than one processing engine is built into a single chip, has become the accepted methodology for increasing performance while keeping power consumption low. These technologies would enable faster web access, improve PC user security and reduce the requirement for wireless infrastructure to provide the optimal online experience, among other benefits, he said.

Rattner demonstrated a new technology for better PC security, wherein users would be able to see images and other data on social networking sites and other platforms only if the computer recognizes his or her face. The technology will enable parallel cryptographic and facial recognition services to improve security on Ultrabooks and traditional notebooks, besides desktop PCs, with the help of Intel microprocessors, he said.

Intel was also collaborating with China Mobile to replace existing “costly base-station hardware used on cell towers today with a fully programmable and far more cost-effective, software-based PC alternative", he noted.

Rattner revealed that Intel Labs was working on a new ‘Near-Threshold Voltage Processor’ that has enabled an experimental Pentium-class processor unit to deliver five times better energy efficiency levels, with the ability to run a processor with a solar cell the size of postage stamp. He said the extreme-scale computing technologies that Intel was working on would help achieve the goal of a nearly 300 times improvement in energy efficiency levels in the next ten years and potentially even a 1,000-fold improvement in the future.

Rattner also disclosed a new JavaScript solution that could speed up browser-based content such as 3D games by up to eight-fold and said that Intel would also soon launch the world’s first processor with Many-Integrated Core (MIC) architecture, which promises to revolutionize high-performance computing.