Researchers have developed a solar-powered, WiFi, stylus-controlled tablet PC called I-Slate, which makes use of the probabilistic CMOS
technology designed by Dr. Krishna Palem and his team at Rice University
. Introduced to the world this week at the IEEE's 125th Anniversary event, the machine is designed to replace the old chalk slates apparently still used in some parts of the world (and on re-runs of Little House On The Prairie) with something that can download lesson plans and help children with their math, among other things. But this is just the beginning -- Dr. Palem and the gang are looking forward to the day when the chips find a home in all sorts of gadgets, from cellphones to televisions and beyond. Prototype slates should start making the rounds in India this spring.