NEC Develops Zero Standby Power Semiconductor Tech

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NEC and a researcher from Japan’s Tohoku University, Professor Hideo Ohno, are working on a power chip that solves a pretty big problem: completely eliminating electricity consumption of electronic devices that are in standby mode. The key piece of technology here is CAM, the world’s first content addressable memory.

This non-volatile memory will be built into the control circuits of TVs, computers and other devices and stores data even when the power is turned off. In other words, constant standby power to maintain data will not be needed anymore (the English press release goes into more technical detail). The picture above shows a prototype power chip.

NEC plans to showcase the tech at a symposium in Kyoto this Friday. The company said it expects it will take up to five years until we can see the technology put to practical use.