Edinburgh University postgraduate Ben Hounsell, 26, has set up a spin off company that aims to make hand-held devices such as phones and digital cameras more flexible.
The pioneering H3P technology may also be used in remote or hostile areas such as space.
Mr Hounsell researched the H3P technology during a PhD in electrical engineering.
He won a Scottish Enterprise fellowship from the Royal Society of Edinburgh, which pays his salary for a year as he launches the company, Adaptive Programmable Silicon (APS).
There have been fears that some third-generation mobile phone networks will not be able to offer multimedia services when they are launched next year.
But APS is designing high-performance, programmable processors to overcome such limitations.