Friday, May 21, 2010

probabilistic computing could be faster, cheaper and lower power for video.

Read article: Professor works to revolutionize computer chips

 Krishna Palem began wondering how much a slight reduction in the quality of calculations might improve speed and save energy.

The first real-world test of the probabilistic computer chip which thrives on random errors, ran seven times faster than today’s best technology while using just 1⁄30th the electricity.

Just think: One need never again worry about draining an iPhone battery in a day or even a week.
“The results were far greater than we expected,” said Palem, a Rice University professor who envisions his chips migrating to mobile devices in less than a decade.

While Palem’s technology may not have a future in calculating missions to Mars, it probably has one in such applications as streaming music and video on mobile devices, he said.

Much as the brain automatically fills in missing words in incomplete sentences, Palem said, the brain compensates for a few errant pixels in a mobile phone’s video screen. “In effect, we are putting a little more burden on the CPU in our heads and a little less burden on the CPU in our pockets.”

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