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Intel turns heads with solar-powered CPU

  • The CPU in Intel's experimental Windows system is powered by a pair of overhead lamps
  • The solar-powered CPU was supported by conventional PC components

By Darien Graham-Smith in San Francisco

Posted on 13 Sep 2011 at 19:45

Intel CEO Paul Otellini caused a hubbub during his IDF opening keynote speech by demonstrating a solar-powered CPU that drew enough processing power to run Windows from a small pair of overhead lamps.

Otellini was at pains to make clear that this was not a planned product, but merely a demonstration of the company's work on reducing power consumption.

“It’s a lab experiment today,” he explained. “In many ways it’s a challenge for us to figure out how we would productise it. And here we’re running the processor on solar; if you want to run the whole system you have to do a little bit more work.”

“But it shows our direction. A Pentium-class processor running on solar, that was unheard of even six months ago.”

Otellini told IDF delegates that such research projects reflected the company’s “long-standing obsession with power reduction”, leading to commercial developments such as its forthcoming Haswell CPUs. Certainly it was a graphic illustration of the company's progress, and one which had photographers jostling for a peek.

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User comments

The past is not as long ago as it used to be

"that was unheard of even six months ago.”

By milliganp on 13 Sep 2011

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