Researchers at the University of Florida say they believe they have found a way to reduce the amount of heat dissipated by microprocessors to just a fraction of current levels. However, few chip manufacturers seem to be paying any attention.

Under the design proposed by the UF researchers, chips would no longer discard old data at the end of every calculation by grounding parts of the circuit. Instead, they would incorporate tiny oscillators that allow the chips to recapture the energy expended in one calculation and re-use it for the next calculation -- a process known as reversible, or adiabatic, computing.

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