Cnet has put up an interesting article talking about Intel's progress and research into developing ultra-low power microprocessors. We aren't talking about just die reduction, though. About half the power consumed by a high-clockspeed processor is leakage, power that essentially is completely wasted. It isn't providing anything to the CPU, it is just being dissipated by heat and straining the battery of the machine should it be a mobile.

With their latest core revisions, Intel has introduced modifications to their core that will prevent a large portion of leakage current. Thus, though you may be getting only a minimal reduction in the amount of power used for useful purposes, the gross power draw is significantly reduced. If you recall from the IDF, Intel laid out a roadmap that had 65nm and even 40nm mobile CPUs consuming less than 5W. The smaller you go, the harder it is to prevent leakage this is something that effects all microprocessors. Although this isn't tackling the issues of continued problems in reducing size, it's a way to make huge improvements in TDP of all processors. 12-Hour-Battery laptops may become quite real in the near future.