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Going beyond useful gadgets powered by the sun, solar-powered computing devices are just over the horizon. Imagine network routers and surveillance devices soaking up the sun and running networking, video and security software. Free of power and Ethernet cables, these embedded systems can be deployed in the field quickly and cheaply. These opportunities are upon the authors because the economics and technologies surrounding solar are making great strides. The cost of solar panels is coming down rapidly as production grows, and the power consumption of new processors is decreasing as technology advances. Clearly not just any CPU can be used in a solar application, but some of the latest power-optimized processors are up to the task.
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