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Things that leak are
bad. If your hot water tank leaks, you might ruin your basement. If
your furnace leaks, you might get blown up. And if your device leaks, you
might not be able to sell your products in the EU.
Ok, maybe the later
isn’t as bad as being blown up, but it will probably have more of an impact on
the business of design. There are some new standards proposed for major
devices. From an article on vnunet
Eco-design Regulatory Committee this week endorsed standby limits proposed by
the European Commission. These limits would be introduced through the 2005 Eco-design Directive, which provides a framework for rules
covering any class of electrical device used in households and offices, such as
TVs, computers and microwave ovens. The next stage in the EU legislative
process will see the proposals debated by the European Parliament.The
proposals aim to set a maximum power consumption for standby of either one or
two watts from 2010, depending on the type of product. In 2013, the admissible
power consumption levels would drop to 0.5W or 1W.
From the European Council for
an Energy Efficient Economy (eceee)
"This first measure under the Ecodesign
Directivewill drastically reduce standby
electricity consumption of household and office products. It is a concrete
contribution to reach the EU's energy efficiency and climate protection
targets, while saving citizens' money", remarked Energy Commissioner
Just to see if the US
is behind the times, or with them, I went and looked up the Energy
Star 8.0 requirements:
B. Standby: To qualify as ENERGY STAR
under both Tier 1 and Tier 2 of this specification, TVs, TV Combination Units,
Television Monitors, and Component Television Units must not exceed power
consumption of 1 watt in Standby. Additionally, this lowest power consuming
Standby must be the default Standby for the TV as shipped to consumers.
Measurements are to be taken without a POD module, if present on the product,
So, with the
increasing demands for functionality, how are systems designers going to
accomplish these tight power requirements? Because this really is a
system level problem – the person designing the TV must consider the tube, the
electronics, the software – all the functions. And must consider them
early enough in the design cycle to be able to do something about it.
With these restrictions, it is no use to anyone to get to tapeout only to
discover that the device consumes 2W.
The other interesting
thing is that this really means that power is for everyone. I’ve been
going around the world now for a number of years discussing the Cadence Low
Power Solution. And, I’ve heard from a number of people that, “we’re not
wireless, so we really don’t care about power.” Or if they did care about
power, it was a just a system cost since they’d need bigger power supplies and
bigger heat sinks, and the cost could be managed. Those days are
over. With the standards above, and with the increasing attention paid to
Green Initiatives, power is now a system requirement for pretty much
I’d like to
understand from the user community – what changes do you think this will have
on the design environment? Will we start to see pre-qualified pieces of
IP (hardware and software) with standby leakage modes measured and
certified? Will we see different software development methods so as to
minimize the average power? Are new performance metrics – flop per watt,
say – in our future? How are we going to set and track system level power
requirements throughout the design process, and throughout the design
chain? And what have I not even thought of? Let’s get a dialog
Oh, and fix that
leak. My first car, a1974 Plymouth Duster, leaked oil like a sieve.
This certainly wasn’t green, and certainly didn’t help my car last too
long. Leaks are bad no matter the source.
Plug of the Week
The Conformal 10th
Anniversary Celebration will be in San
Jose on December 11. This
event will look back over the past 10 years of formal verification, but more
importantly, it will look forward to where Conformal is going. Don’t miss
this chance to talk to the key R&D developers – we’re emphasizing
customer/R&D interaction for this event.
More details and
registration can be found at the registration