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Intel Idle

Intel's Wine-Powered Microprocessor 126

Posted by samzenpus
from the it-does-go-well-with-the-fish dept.
angry tapir writes "In a new twist on strange brew, an Intel engineer has showed off a project using wine to power a microprocessor. The engineer poured red wine into a glass containing circuitry on two metal boards during a keynote by Genevieve Bell, Intel fellow, at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco. Once the red wine hit the metal, the microprocessor on a circuit board powered up. The low-power microprocessor then ran a graphics program on a computer with an e-ink display."
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Intel's Wine-Powered Microprocessor

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  • by dtmos (447842) * on Sunday September 15, 2013 @11:38AM (#44856191)

    The engineer poured red wine into a glass containing circuitry on two metal boards during a keynote by Genevieve Bell, Intel fellow, at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco.

    [. . .]

    Low power doesn't mean low performance, with Intel now thinking about microwatts, not milliwatts, said Mike Bell, vice president and general manager of the New Devices group, during an appearance at the keynote.

    [. . .]

    Future computing devices will be able to understand human behavior through data gathered by embedded sensors and other wearable technology, Bell said. Projects are also underway at Intel labs to bring a more "human element" to mobility, she said.

    What a poorly edited article. One never knows which Bell -- Genevieve or Mike -- is speaking.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      After the sex change, Mike became Genevieve.

    • by terjeber (856226)
      It's called context, and in context there is never any doubt about which Bell we are talking about. Failing to understand would be entirely blamed on your ability (or rather lack of such) to read.
  • this just in (Score:5, Informative)

    by iggymanz (596061) on Sunday September 15, 2013 @11:46AM (#44856233)

    Putting dissimilar metals connected by external conductive path in an electrolyte will cause current flow.

    I've even seen some outdoors website forum people going gaga over the concept that nailing a couple dissimilar metallic spikes into a tree can "make electricity". Please, just carry a spare battery for your cell phone, breaching the bark of a tree with reactive metals is bad.

    • Re:this just in (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 15, 2013 @11:55AM (#44856301)

      I got a good chuckle from your comment but maybe the point of the demo is how little juice is required to power the computer.

    • Putting dissimilar metals connected by external conductive path in an electrolyte will cause current flow.

      Exactly. The wine isn't "powering" the microprocessor. It's the electrolyte. The battery is powered by the electron transfer reaction between the two metals of different oxidation potential.

      http://www.how-things-work-science-projects.com/lemon-battery.html#lemon_battery [how-things...ojects.com]

      • "The wine isn't "powering" the microprocessor. It's the electrolyte."

        No. No. It wasn't the electolyte, it was the electrons! (Cue particle physicists further breakdown - excuse the pun) Also, no need for quotes around the word "powering" as the word "powering" is not only a verb, it is the correct verb. Also, gasoline doesn't "power" cars (shit ... it's contagious), it is the chemical reaction!

        • by rubycodez (864176)

          It certainly is not the electrons, those are the things being powered, having work done on them. the metals and electrolyte are doing the work

          • I guess you didn't know that metals are made up of electrons among other things. In truth, nobody know for sure how it works, despite claims to the contrary, thus the comment about cueing the particle physicists. The one thing we can safely say is that it is a phenomenally stupid thing to say that the metals and the electrolyte that are doing the work.
            • by rubycodez (864176)

              You need some remedial physics. A metal is mostly nucleons by mass and by simple count. Electron movement is always due to work being done on them. In this situation the metal and electrolytes are supplying energy which is equivalent to performing the work (work-energy equivalence). Yes, I'm a physicist.

        • "The wine isn't "powering" the microprocessor. It's the electrolyte."

          No. No. It wasn't the electolyte, it was the electrons!

          The word "it" refers to "wine." The wine is the electrolyte.

      • In principle the ethanol in wine could power a fuel cell. That's what I would expect from the phrase "wine-powered".
  • this amazing innnovation is going to set us on an amazing course for the future
    • by kamapuaa (555446) on Sunday September 15, 2013 @11:54AM (#44856289) Homepage

      The demonstration is that Intel has chips running on extremely low power, which honestly is kind of cool.

      Using a potato clock to power it was a bit of showmanship that the article submitter turned into the main focus.

    • France is gonna be pissed when the price of wine skyrockets because of demand from everyone's mobile devices!

      • Although on second thought, French wine growers are going to be really happy buying new gold plated lear jets.

        • "Although on second thought, French wine growers are going to be really happy buying new gold plated lear jets."

          Sure, but can they power them with wine?

        • by dbIII (701233)
          FFS don't let anyone invent the wine filled inkjet printer or they'll be dusting off Concorde for their gold plated jets.
      • by McGruber (1417641)
        Please don't whine [thefreedictionary.com] about how much wine [wikipedia.org] it takes to run Wine [winehq.org]!
      • by Dunbal (464142) *
        The price of French wine is already skyrocketing because the Chinese are buying up all the wine. There are lots and lots of Chinese, and lots and lots of them are getting wealthy enough to afford wine...
      • by manu0601 (2221348)
        France produce more wine that it consumes, therefore a soaring price will benefit the local economy.
    • by rubycodez (864176)

      yes, we can call these electrolytes with dissimilar metals in them a "power cell", and if we make a group, a battery, of them to get either higher potentials or more current , we could call them.......batterized cells? hmnmm, maybe a single word could convey the meaning.....??

    • by ClaraBow (212734)
      Yeah, they just leap frogged ARM! This will be the year of Intel powered phones! ; )
    • by Dunbal (464142) *
      Targeted ads on your wine glasses in the better restaurants? You know it's going to happen.
  • wine? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 15, 2013 @11:47AM (#44856241)

    but wine is not an emulator! http://www.winehq.org/

    oh, the other kind of wine

  • by ByteSlicer (735276) on Sunday September 15, 2013 @11:47AM (#44856245)

    So, is this a compact fuel cell (new tech, catalyzes ethanol into energy), or just a chemical battery (old tech, converting acidic wine and metal contacts into energy)?

  • by carlhirsch (87880) on Sunday September 15, 2013 @11:50AM (#44856259) Homepage

    And that's the story of how Bender's great-grandpappy was born.

  • I'm glad we're sitting on easily extractable oceans of this stuff!
  • What next ? (Score:5, Funny)

    by eulernet (1132389) on Sunday September 15, 2013 @11:59AM (#44856321)

    Wine is the first step, but why don't we use blood to power microprocessors ?

    Everybody can easily extract blood, and a processor named Vampire would be so cool.

  • next up (Score:5, Funny)

    by wbr1 (2538558) on Sunday September 15, 2013 @12:02PM (#44856337)
    GLADos in a potato
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 15, 2013 @12:05PM (#44856357)

    --

  • I've been telling my wife how I'm being powered by wine and its cousins. Now I have a concrete example.
  • One for you; one for me.

  • Will AMD respond with a beer powered processor ?
    Seriously, though, it's good to see Intel is serious about, and capable of, truly low power.

    Ten years ago, it was a race for the most powerful processor, and Intel won*. Now it's about competing for the lowest power. Kind of ironic.

    * For single threaded applications. A web server with a $200 AMD 8-core CPU at 4GHz will beat the pants off $200 of Intel CPU.

    • "Ten years ago, it was a race for the most powerful processor, and Intel won*. Now it's about competing for the lowest power. Kind of ironic."

      It isn't ironic at all. There was never a time when CPU companies were in a race to create processors that sucked up and wasted through heat dissipation as much electrical power as possible. The goal was always to keep the devices as efficient as possible while still providing more processing power. You are mixing concepts because you have failed to use adjectives.

      • by Hognoxious (631665) on Sunday September 15, 2013 @01:51PM (#44857079) Homepage Journal

        There was never a time when CPU companies were in a race to create processors that sucked up and wasted through heat dissipation as much electrical power as possible.

        I guess you never owned a Pentium 4.

        • Or an Athlon XP 2000+. Honestly, I used to keep my very small bedroom warm with that CPU and a 15" CRT through the entire winter back in the day. No kidding.
          Nowadays' LCDs and CPUs suck, I need a heater to stay warm in winter!

      • For 20 years, RISC processors used 1/10th - 1/100th as much power, yet Intel was the big name brand because CPU speed was king. As Hognoxious pointed out, the P4 is a great example that people generally didn't care too much about power usage. 125 watts was a little high, but acceptable. Now 1 watt is considered a little too high, and companies are hyping 1.5 Ghz processors, a third the speed of existing offerings.

        • The reason why 125 watts was "a little high" then was that the technology for CISC didn't allow for much better at the time. Technology changes and the bar gets lowered. That in no way means that nobody cared about power drain and efficiency at the time, It certainly doesn't mean that companies were in a rush to create devices that drew more power. There was never any advantage to that.

          " Now 1 watt is considered a little too high, and companies are hyping 1.5 Ghz processors, a third the speed of existin

          • CISC couldn't go that fast without using 125 watts.
            RISC could use 99% less power and go half as fast.

            Everybody bought "Intel inside", even though it drew a hundred times more power.

            Yes, mobile is one reason people now care more about power consumption. Waking up to it's effect on datacenter costs is another.

            You said:
            "The goal was always to make devices as efficient as possible"
            If that were, CISC would have been dead on arrival.
            Intel has pretty much admitted that CISC will be dead soon unless they cut powe

            • It was never true that a RISC component could "go half as fast" as a CISC component, nor was it true that RISC architectures that could compete with CISC drew 1% as much power. You are comparing apples and oranges by calling the finish line 1 instruction. In other words, clocking a RISC chip at the same speed as a CISC chip doesn't make them equally fast. With RISC you need to execute a significantly greater number of instructions to execute the same source code. You also don't know what the word efficien
              • I thought this discussion ended decades ago.
                Nowadays CPUs use concepts from both families, and other, new concepts which aren't publicly being discussed because most of the ipad generation knows nothing about chip design anymore.
                We learned it's a good idea to design chips to accomodate the user (in this case a C compiler) rather than the other way around.
                Now that we've reached the end of that free lunch, we need to do vector instructions, parallel chips and other methods that suck because they require const

                • You have been around long enough to know this discussion will never end. There will always be new fish. Note that I am not arguing for one approach over the other, but rather trying to get the new fish to realize that he is woefully misinformed. A hybrid approach is almost always the best answer in any design approach, not just in a CISC vs RISC scenario. Any time people treat as mutually exclusive that which is not by nature mutually exclusive that removes options, and so long as intelligent choice is
        • by QQBoss (2527196)

          When I started with Motorola in the mid/late '80s, the RISC processor called the 88100 was in the process of being released. It was a physical monstrosity compared to the MC68030 and prior, and consumed an outrageous 25 watts. I made a comment to one of the architects that they should have put it in a circular package instead of square one, and he went off about how incredibly wasteful that would be, how hard it would be to escape the signals, etc... before finally asking me why would I even consider that

  • Or was it Windows was powered by Intel, NOW YOU ARE telling me that Intel can power a chip by EMULATION INSTEAD OF WINDOWS?
    • What happened to the second law of thermodynamics? As I read this, Windows is run in Wine which can then power the chip to run Windows.....
      • What happened to the second law of thermodynamics? As I read this, Windows is run in Wine which can then power the chip to run Windows.....

        Guess this is why some people get a headache from wine. It must be the shit in wine that gives people headaches that can actually power a chip emulating Windows??? Personally wine that gives other people headaches gives me the squirts especially the red plonk from Washington State. Even some from California gives me the squirts!!! Wouldn't it be appropriate if someone brought out a cheap wine called Windows Pentium Power House Red? Instead of drinking it you pour it over your motherboard!

    • Actually, Turning told us this long before Gates had his first abortion.
    • Wine Is Not an Emulator (WINE).

  • The interesting part is not that intel made a battery using 2 metals and an acid, its the fact that they powered up a cpu and a display from such a weak battery.

  • Let me know when I can run WINE on it.
  • I'll be golden, my spills won't go to waste.
  • Unfortunately, places that have wine tend not be short on electric power either.

    But I get the good intention of the demonstration.
  • I heard you like wine, so I'm running Wine on a processor powered by wine.
  • Changes the flavor of the wine, I'm sure.
  • thousands years after the egyptians but we got there!
  • First there's a food shortage as the US converts corn to ethanol, and the price of corn and corn meal go through the roof. Now we're going to have to run our systems on wine, and the price of even cheap crap will go through the roof....

                    mark "I'll have the inexpensive 12 yr single malt, please, I can't afford the MD 2020"

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