Researchers at the University of Rochester, led by Professor Hui Wu, have developed a chip for cell phones which uses dramatically less power than current chips. More efficient batteries have received all sorts of attention and efforts recently, but this chip could have an even bigger impact. The new chip uses just 10% of the power that current phones do.
It works like this; phones and other devices have to be on at all times so that they are ready to recognize and receive signals on the specific frequencies that they are designed to receive. To do this, they have a very accurate clock, which is generated by a circuit called phase-locked loop. When a phone is on standby it is that circuit that is killing your battery. Wu and his band of fearless scientists have created a different circuit, called injection locked frequency divider, or ILFD, which uses much less power to accomplish the same thing.
With the Hui Wu chip, it would theoretically be possible to achieve cellphone standby times of 2 months or more.