Computer chip could make gadgets greener

MP3 players and 4G mobile phones could be more energy efficient thanks to a versatile microprocessor.

EnCore Processor

The device, known as EnCore, delivers faster processing while using significantly less power and taking up less space than comparable devices.

Researchers at the University have incorporated the microprocessor into a silicon chip.

This working prototype has been demonstrated in the laboratory.

Adaptable processing

The microprocessor is configurable, meaning that it can be automatically customised for a particular application. It is suitable for a variety of gadgets.

The adaptability of the processor means that performance is not compromised by energy efficiency.

Multiple EnCore processors may be used together, creating high-performance multi-core systems for more demanding applications.

Bigger picture

EnCore was developed as part of a project to investigate new methods of developing computing devices.

The project was funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

The EnCore microprocessor’s architecture works with the ARC600 range of processors made by ARC International.

The University and ARC have a long record of collaboration. Professor Nigel Topham of the School of Informatics led the design of the ARC600 microprocessor in 2003.

Having seen this project through from the drawing board to a functioning computer, I am delighted with how well the chip performs in terms of its stability and low power consumption.

Professor Nigel TophamDirector of Institute for Computing Systems Architecture