Working towards their promise of 5W and below when it comes to power consumption, Intel is working in two areas to help reduce the amount of power a PC consumes. In one area, they are fighting the growing consumption of power in the motherboard, which in Intel's case includes the MMC (Northbridge), a particularly greedy device as RAM gets faster. Another area is combatting current leakage, something that plagues all CPUs as the transistors on them become smaller and smaller. Depending on the scenario, up to half and beyond of a Pentium's power consumption is current leakage, and thus wasted.
"We thought at the time we could approach 200 watts," Rattner said. However, the PC industry balked at the cooling requirements that would have been needed to prevent 200-watt processors from melting systems, he said. And the 90-nanometer technology was more prone to electrical-current leakage than previous manufacturing technologies, making 90-nanometer chips hot even when they weren't running at full power.
Growing concerns over global electricity useage has with no doubt impacted this research somewhat, as we see almost all industries now placing huge focuses on power reduction. Intel says their new low-power design for CPUs is finished, and they will be utilizing it in the near future. Now their focus is on the motherboard.