Microchip stops ‘standby’ energy waste

Scientists in Japan have developed a microchip for electronics that could save huge amounts of energy. Current electronics that are plugged-in lose energy even when switched off, so an average […]

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By Tom Gibson

Scientists in Japan have developed a microchip for electronics that could save huge amounts of energy.

Current electronics that are plugged-in lose energy even when switched off, so an average home full of appliances like this can add up to almost 10% of the energy bill.

The chip is the world’s first content addressable memory (CAM) and was developed by NEC Corporation and researchers at Tohoku University. It uses ‘spintronics’ to store data differently through magnets rather than an operating memory. As a result, data can be saved on circuits even when power is cut from the CAM.

Use of the CAM enables the development of electronics that start instantly and consume zero electricity while in standby mode.