Chipmaker is on a quest for the ultimate wine

T.J. Rodgers, CEO of Cypress Semiconductor, is set to become the hero of TechEye for 2010 after spending his days and technology genius developing a chip that can make the perfect red wine.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Rodgers is spending a small fortune hto bring technology’s finest thinking to the wine-making process.

He has set up 152 stainless-steel fermentation tanks at the University of California which are packed full of techie gadgets.

The idea is to monitor the wine as if it were a patient on life support. The tanks send data wirelessly to the winery’s computers. Messages like “too hot” or “sugar high” are placed in a central network which works out what will be the best for the booze.

Rodgers has already created a hydraulic-powered fermenter and his next project will use light to determine what is happening inside the wine. The winery uses some screw caps and some corks on its bottles, and wants to see whether there are long-term differences in how the wines with the different tops age, apparently

But it is his chip makers that have helped the most. He tried and failed three times to construct a programmable version of a device called a brix meter, which measures the sugar level in fermenting wine.

Rodgers called up some Cypress engineers and asked them to solve the problem. They prototyped brix sensor using the company’s chips and other technology and another team figured out how to relay the measurements wirelessly. Within a week, the teams had prototypes.