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Intel plugs laptop power leaks

Antony Savvas

Intel has announced a new power technology to reduce battery power wastage and allow users to run laptops and other mobile devices longer.

Intel says only around half of a battery’s power is consumed by active computing using its processors – the rest is drained by “leaking” transistors when the machine is on standby or hibernating.

A new version of the company's 65-nanometer wafer-making process – codenamed “P1265” – is set to change things when it is applied to a large part of the Intel chip range in 2007.

The new process, which moves the transistors closer together to increase density and cut down on leakage, is expected to be used in the production of future chips such as Merom. Such processors are designed to consume only 10% of the power used by Intel's current Pentium chips.

With the number of transistors on a chip increasing rapidly to deliver faster speeds, Intel says that addressing power leakage rates can benefit the whole PC system.

Other companies such as Texas Instruments are also investing in new chip manufacturing technologies to reduce transistor leakage.

Intel already incorporates technologies such as SpeedStep and HyperThreading into its chipsets to manage and reduce power used by applications.


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