Computer chip powered by body heat

US scientists have invented a computer chip that requires so little power to run that the heat from a human body is enough to make it go, Wired reports.

The new chip, invented by researchers at MIT, uses 70% less power than the current generation of computer chip technology.

The key benefit of the chip is that it could extent the battery life of portable electronic devices in areas like medical electronics, where pacemakers could be a perfect candidate, and the military, which funded part of the research.

The military could be keen on creating sensors to monitor soldiers’ health, blood flow, heart rate or thermal profile, but they would only be workable if the power required to run is very low.

The MIT researchers believe the power requirements for sensors attached to the body could be reduced to near zero using the chip, with the body’s heat and movement generating the microwattage necessary to power the devices.

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