Lights with microprocessors and more connected intelligent washing machines are a step closer, with UK chip giant ARM announcing the ultra low-power Cortex M0+ processor designed for white goods, smart control systems and intelligent sensors.
The 32-bit ARM Cortex-M0+ processor is designed to be a cheap, mass-producible option which uses tiny amounts of power but capable of performing quite complex operations.
The upshot is that, when it is production, the chip could be used to significantly up the processing abilities of everyday electronic devices.
"This industry-leading combination of low power and high performance provides users of legacy 8- and 16-bit architectures with an ideal opportunity to migrate to 32-bit devices, thereby delivering increased intelligence to everyday devices, without sacrificing power consumption or area," explained ARM.
With more and more of our goods connected and capable of performing and reporting complex tasks (often called the Internet of Things), our word is evolving quickly.
"The Internet of Things will change the world as we know it, improving energy efficiency, safety, and convenience," said Tom R Halfhill, a senior analyst with The Linley Group and senior editor of Microprocessor Report.
"Ubiquitous network connectivity is useful for almost everything - from adaptive room lighting and online video gaming to smart sensors and motor control.
"But it requires extremely low-cost, low-power processors that still can deliver good performance.
"The ARM Cortex-M0+ processor brings 32-bit horsepower to flyweight chips, and it will be suitable for a broad range of industrial and consumer applications."
The Cortex-M0+ processor has already by licenced by Freescale and NXP Semiconductor.