Researchers from University College Cork (UCC) are involved in a consortium that has been awarded €1.6m under the EU’s FP7 programme to develop new low-powered and environmentally friendly chips with the aim of prolonging the life of batteries used in mobile phones and mobile computing devices.
The project, known as project i-RISC (Innovative Reliable Chip Designs from Unreliable Components) will run until 2016.
The aim will be to pioneer a new chip to help a mobile device last much longer using the same battery before it needs to be re-charged.
Another goal will be to create instances where battery re-charging is not required and instead replaced by a perennial energy harvester.
UCC will be collaborating on the project with researchers from the Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives in France; Ecole Nationale Supérieure de l’Electronique et de ses Applications in France; Technische Universiteit Delft in The Netherlands; Universitatea Politehnica Timisoara in Romania and University of Niš in Serbia.
The research at UCC will be led by Dr Emanuel Popovici from the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.
According to the researchers, one of the challenges for the next generation of electronic circuit design is to develop innovative solutions that allow reliable circuits to be designed from low-powered unreliable components.
The project will combine the theories of the mathematician, philosopher and logician George Boole (1815-1864), who is renowned for being the originator of Boolean algebra. His Boolean logic is often regarded as being at the foundation for digital computing systems. Boole was also the first maths professor at UCC.
The researchers will also draw upon the work of Claude Shannon (1916-2001), the mathematician and engineer who is often termed the ‘father of information theory’.
“We are proud to be part of this major project which seeks to expand the logic theory for future generations’ digital integrated circuits," said Popovici.