Your processor may be able to react to your every, fickle demand when it comes to churning out the numbers that make the magic happen, but when it comes to managing its own power it's a bit more lazy. Chips can throttle an individual core's consumption back, but do so slowly, a problem that Harvard grad student Wonyoung Kim appears to have solved. He's created an on-chip multi-core voltage regulator that uses what's called fast-voltage scaling, a technique of rapidly cutting power that could drastically extend battery life on mobile devices -- or, you know, make it so that your gaming rig doesn't dim the lights quite so badly when you crank it up to the gigahertz. No word on when this regulator will start making an appearance in consumer electronics, but Mr. Kim has achieved a patent for his work, so you can be sure he'll be making bank whenever it does.

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Multi-core voltage regulator uses fast voltage scaling to curb your processor's wasteful habits