Intel has come up with a processor powered by wine

Yes you read that right, there is a chip in existence that is juiced by the fermented juice of grapes. Or, more accurately, the reaction of the wine's acid content on the copper and zinc terminals in the glass.

The Intel chip was unveiled at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in San Francisco this week, and Pocket-lint was in attendance. The boozy bit-juggler was the brainchild of Intel's Mike Bell - the former Apple VP - as introduced by Dr Genevieve Bell, director at Intel Labs.

The low-powered processor is juiced by a glass of red wine. Two electrodes are placed in the glass and react to the acetic acid in the wine to produce a current sufficient enough to power the chip.

It's all about minimum power consumption with maximum computational output - the future, as Intel sees it. "It's possible to start to imagine a world of incredibly low power but also high performance," Bell said in her Keynote address at IDF.

The idea sounds similar to potato batteries that have been around for years. Bell points out: "Some people turn water into wine, here at Intel we're turning wine into electricity." Probably referring to wine makers but perhaps a little nod to the "godly" power of Intel?

While the dilemma of sacrificing your glass of wine to check Facebook shouldn't be an issue anytime soon, Intel is working hard on low-powered chips. And it's not just wine. Dr Bell quipped at how tiny sensors that can power themselves from the heat of your skin are a possible future, and we think probably a more plausible one than sacrificing all that wine.

Where the company is at now isn't quite that close to realisation on a commercial scale, but it's making progress: Intel's newly announced Quark X1000 chip, for example, is a fifth the size of current Atom processors and uses one tenth of the power. And the Z3000 Bay Trail chips should mean twice the CPU and four times the GPU performance of current processors - all while delivering a 50 per cent increase in battery life per charge in tablets and smartphones.

So enjoy your glass of wine, check your phone, and know that if the worse comes to the worst one day you may be able to substitute your charger for a new wine rack. Or, even better, just do nothing as the emanated heat of your warm skin will be enough to power the devices of the future. Wowzers.



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