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Researchers Attack Transistors to Slay Vampire Power

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Vampire power

Standby, or vampire, power refers to electronic devices' constant consumption of a trickle of power even when they are turned off.


The European Union is sponsoring a multimillion-dollar research project to boost the efficiency of everyday electronics and choke the constant flow of wasted energy from their chips.

The three-year effort, called Project Steeper, promises to result in gadgets that operate 10 times longer on a battery charge and don't lose energy to standby—or vampire—power, researchers say. Although there are many different ways to improve efficiency in computing, the focus of this work is on the basic building block of all electronics, the transistor.

Everything from TVs to cell phone chargers draws a small current even when they are not in use. Called standby or vampire power, this little trickle results in a huge amount of unused energy.

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