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UMich gurus greatly reduce gadget energy consumption (at the expense of awesomeness)

Darren Murph

Mama always told us that there'd be trade-offs in life, but we aren't so sure we're kosher with this one. As the story goes, a team of Wolverines from the University of Michigan figured out a solution to an age-old problem: effectively lowering power consumption by a significant amount in electronic devices. Anyone with a smartphone yearns for better battery life, and while Stevie J may argue that no one reads for ten hours straight, we'd still rather have the option than not. The development revolves around "near-threshold computing" (NTC), which allows electronic wares to operate at lower voltages than normal, in turn lowering energy consumption. Researchers estimate that power energy requirements could be lowered by "10 to 100 times or more," but unfortunately, that low-voltage operation would lead to "performance loss, performance variation, and memory and logic failures." We appreciate the hard work, folks, but could you hit us back when the side effects are somewhat less daunting?

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