Researchers at the University of Michigan have come up with a tiny solar power system, that could ostensibly keep itself powered for a long time. Theoretically, this could go on forever, but the batteries have to be replaced after a few years. The tiny system measures 2.5mm x 3.5mm x 1mm, with a volume of just 9 cubic mm, making it a lot smaller than conventional solar powered systems. The solar panel and battery are accompanied by an ARM processor that could actually get a few things done by the tiny system.
There are a number of cases where this system could be put to use, and there are some alterations that can be done to the system. For example, it could be made to rely on heat or kinetic energy in place of sunlight. Given the system’s high efficiency, it could work as a power source for pacemakers or be used in environmental sensors at a variety of locations. Commercial version of the system is already under development.