Integrated Circuits with Zero-Power Standby Could See Use This Year

Paul Lilly

Despite the recent push towards going green, power management on the PC has a long ways to go, but a new breakthrough could shakes things up in a big way. Both Rohm Co Ltd and NEC of Japan are working on what's called zero-standby-dissipation IC technology, which is an integrated circuit that waits in Off mode for an input before instantly turning itself on, and then turning right back off.

Already in prototype form and expected to ship in quantity before 2010, the innovative chips are made from nonvolatile logic and merged memory. By making the entire chip nonvolatile, the integrated circuits consume no power when in standby mode, only turning themselves on when power is needed. And because of the logic circuit, the chips do not need data retention, which means power to the entire chip can be cut in standby.

"This technology has enormous potential in applications such as games, where the system is usually sitting and waiting for player input," says an un-named source at Rohm.

Lots more details here .

Image Credit: Rohm

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