Intel Unveils New 45-Nanometer Processors
Among the technologies that this wireless HD would beat in speed is the much-ballyhooed WiMax standard that Intel has been planning to spring on the world for quite some time. Even though WiMax has yet to be officially rolled out, the computer chip giant did recently release a fleet of 45-nanometer microprocessors (or rather, nanoprocessors) that supplanted its previous 65-nanometer set, a reduction of nearly 30 percent. (Click here to watch a related video.) According to one of the booth attendants, "it's the biggest change in 40 years for this type of technology." (For reference, a nanometer is the size of a few atoms.) The transistors on the processors, which are already in all new Intel-powered mobile and desktop products, are also coated with the transition metal hafnium, an element with electrical properties that makes the nanoprocessors more energy-efficient than the previous lines. These chips suffer only one tenth the energy leakage that bedeviled their predecessors, which gives them longer battery life.
Automotive Energy Alternatives
Although new power sources for gadgets usually steal the show at CES, this year's show afforded attendees something new and, in our carbon-obsessed world, topical: auto fuel supplements and fuel replacements. MTECH offered up the Moletech Fuel Saver technology that can improve fuel efficiency by 15 percent. (Click here to watch a related video.) By placing sensors in the gas tank and on the air filter and radiator hose, "our technology breaks what we call the van der Waals forces that keep [fuel molecules] in clusters, says George Souris, MTECH's international sales director, allowing the car to use more of the gas in its tank. There are fuel-saver kits for everything from lawn mowers to boats to tractor-trailers (using gasoline, diesel or propane); the cost for an automobile is about $300, with a lifetime of 10 years.
Meanwhile, for those waiting for a gasoline replacement, General Motors unveiled the guts of a fuel cell car, similar to the Chevy Equinox models they are testing in New York City, California and Washington, D.C. (Click here to see a related video.) The vehicle actually has two power sources (a lithium ion battery and a hydrogen fuel cell stack) and three motors (a 94-horsepower primary in front and one over each rear wheel at 33 and a half horsepower apiece). For the first 40 miles (65 kilometers) of driving, the car draws its juice from the battery. Once that is drained, the car feeds the hydrogen stored in two barrels in the rear of the vehicle to the fuel cells under the hood. This second power source can take the car for well over 300 miles (500 kilometers), according to the product specialist on hand. The car is refueled with hydrogen and by plugging it in for at least six hours to recharge the batteries.
The experts assembled at the "Top Ten Technologies" forum did not discuss getting past oil, but they ruminated on other alternative energy sources. Among those discussed were solar and vibrational. One panel member even raised the prospect of turning body fat into electrical energy. "I dream of the day I can plug myself into the wall, run the meter back and wake up hungry," joked Gene Frantz, a fellow at Texas Instruments.
Be careful what you wish for, though. If there's any lesson the first (official) day of CES offered, it is: if you can dream it, someone might build it.