New chip captures power from multiple sources – MIT

July 12th, 2012 § 0 comments

Capturing the heat generated by our electronic devices and turning it back into electricity seems like a fantastic way to improve the power efficiency of processors. I wonder how long it will take for something like that to be built in to a CPU. It would be great if they could capture enough heat to obviate the need for fans. Add in the ability to power your phone by walking around or leaving it in the sun and we have some pretty significant battery life improvements without having to change the battery.

I have to say their method for capturing all three “at once” seems pretty weak to a layman like myself.

So far, most efforts to harness multiple energy sources have simply switched among them, taking advantage of whichever one is generating the most energy at a given moment, Bandyopadhyay says, but that can waste the energy being delivered by the other sources. “Instead of that, we extract power from all the sources,” he says. The approach combines energy from multiple sources by switching rapidly between them.

Layman Translation: To harness multiple sources previous attempts simply switched between the different methods. What a waste! Instead we switch between the different methods REALLY FAST!

I don’t really understand how that avoids the problem at hand.

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