Would you rather have a power-hungry cellphone that could software-decode hundreds of video codecs, or a hyper-efficient system-on-chip that only processes H.264? These are the tough decisions mobile designers have to make, but perhaps not for much longer. MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory has developed a solution that could spell the end for inefficient devices. Myron King and Nirav Dave have expanded Arvind's BlueSpec software so engineers can tell it what outcomes they need and it'll decide on the most efficient design -- printing out hardware schematics in Verilog and software in C++. If this outcome-oriented system becomes widely adopted, we may never need worry about daily recharging again: good because we'll need that extra power to juice our sporty EV.

[Image courtesy of MIT / Melanie Gonick]

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Inefficient? MIT's new chip software doesn't know the meaning of the word