The smaller a silicon transistor becomes, the more electrons it leaks. That can mean unreliable, battery-draining chips. Researchers at Intel have come up with a way of dealing with the problem that subverts the industry’s strong preference for precision. The company’s prototype chip operates in a low-power but error-prone mode, but it detects and corrects its errors. This approach, researchers have found, saves 37 percent on power compared with running in conventional mode with no loss of performance.