ARM Holdings has announced that it has created new 1mm by 1mm processors that offers years of battery life and consumes little power. The new chip, based on the company’s Cortex -M0+ architecture, is aimed at providing chip makers the means to build processors that require low power yet is still smart enough for 32-bit processing. The new chips are aimed at empowering “the internet of things” – which allows appliances like washing machines, refrigerators and other similar devices to communicate with each other.
ARM’s director of embedded marketing Gary Atkinson hopes that the new processors would usher in a new era of smart, energy efficient devices. “Every developed nation country has a graph showing electricity demand is going to outstrip supply at some point in the next 20 years unless we do something different,” he said. “What we need to do is something called design response – where all the devices on the network can make a decision as to whether or not to come on in order to smooth out peaks and troughs in electricity demand. So you should add connectivity to things like fridges, washing machines, freezers and dishwashers. If the wider electricity network is being very heavily used and if the element in your dishwasher could go off for two or three minutes to alleviate that – well then that would make a big difference.”