Advances in solar power aren't always the most immediately exciting sort of developments (a more efficient solar panel still looks like a solar panel), but this new solar power system developed at the University of Michigan certainly won't have any trouble turning a few heads. Not only is it 1,000 times smaller than any comparable commercial counterpart (just 9 cubic millimeters), but its processor, solar cells, and battery are all self-contained, and the researchers say it would be be able to operate "nearly perpetually" if not for the battery eventually giving out after "many years." What's more, they say the system could also be adapted to be powered by movement or heat instead of light, which means that it could eventually power medical implants in addition to a whole range of other devices. No word on when that might happen, but the inventors are already busily working to commercialize the device. Extreme close-up after the break.

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Researchers shows off self-contained, 9mm solar power system