Texas Instruments has a lot to do with the original microchip, if for no other reason than being the employer of inventor Jack Kilby. Now, however, TI is looking to produce chips and other related gizmos that require an infinitesimally small amount of energy to operate. The overriding theme guiding the engineers is "energy scavenging," which alludes to grasping power from even the most unlikely of places -- vibrations from a bridge as cars pass over, capturing wasted exhaust from a car or bottling up all that frustration your sibling shows when you own him / her again in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The possibilities are just about endless, with networked battery-free smoke alarms, solar-powered mobiles and gaming laptops that feed off of extraordinarily focused brain waves in the mix. Okay, so that last one is still eons from reality, but at least we're headed in that direction.

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