As energy efficiency becomes more and more a concern for makers of electronics devices, researchers are coming up with new ways to harvest energy from sound vibration, footsteps, and even electromagnetic fields in the air.
While many of these energy-harvesting devices are in the experimental phases or for a specific purpose, some of them are becoming commercially available. Energy harvesting devices from companies like Fujitsu and MicroGen have emerged that can provide power for electronics devices and batteries by harvesting energy from sources like the sun and vibrations in the environment.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.