Will we soon be asking what vintage our computers are running on?
In a demo at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco on Thursday, one of the company’s engineers poured red wine on a low-power microprocessor on a circuit board and caused the chip to power up. The microprocessor was able to run a graphics program on a computer using an e-ink display.
Further details on the wine-powered chip have not yet been release so it must be safe to say work on it is still fermenting. Intel said projects like this are part of the work being done by the company’s New Devices group.
The group is investigating potential business opportunities in the area of Internet of things (IoT) and wearable technology.
Lower-powered chips have many consumer applications. In another demonstration, a smart jacket that had sensors which detect when a cyclist is braking his or her bike was presented. When a wearer stops the bike the jacket lights up to alert motorists that might be behind.
The demonstrations are meant to show off Intel’s progress in lower-power chips, according to Mike Bell, vice-president of the New Devices group.
Intel just introduced a line of extremely low-powered processors called Quark. The Quark line is designed to power wearable computing devices and embedded devices.
Quark chips are about one-fifth the size of the typical chip and consume one-tenth the power of Intel’s Atom processors. They could be used in eye wear and disposable medical patches that monitor patients’ vital signs.