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Power Upgrades Hardware

Fujitsu To Show Off "Zero-Watt" PC At CeBIT 222

Posted by timothy
from the car's-mpg-is-infinite-while-engine's-stopped dept.
mobile writes "In August of last year Fujitsu announced new 'zero-watt' displays. This means the screens use absolutely no power when put into standby mode, unlike most other screens that use less than 1 watt, but still require some power. Now Fujitsu has announced they will be showing a zero-watt PC later this year at the CeBIT show. The PC is called the Esprimo Green and marks a first, in that it's able to use no power while in standby mode — but this is a feature that will be required from 2010 for new PCs released across Europe."
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Fujitsu To Show Off "Zero-Watt" PC At CeBIT

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  • Define "Standby" (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Facetious (710885) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @06:45PM (#26553281) Journal
    I assume "standby" means hibernate, not suspend due to the power required to refresh RAM. Or is Fujitsu introducing something with MRAM?
  • by Killer Orca (1373645) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @06:48PM (#26553327)

    I assume "standby" means hibernate, not suspend due to the power required to refresh RAM. Or is Fujitsu introducing something with MRAM?

    If it doesn't then there will most likely be a hit to resume standby/hibernate time. Of course some people will never see this 'cause they never turn off their computers.

  • by pla (258480) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @06:58PM (#26553475) Journal
    This means the screens use absolutely no power when put into standby mode, unlike most other screens that use less than 1 watt, but still require some power

    I don't get this obsession with "standby" power draw... My computer and display and TV and DVD player already draw zero watts when off, thanks to the magic of the switch on the power strip.

    And for the record, I don't even do this for the power savings - More than once, I've had my "expensive" electronic toys saved from nearby lightning strikes that took out things like alarm clocks and answering machines (No, a power strip won't stop a direct hit, but they do wonders to stop spikes up to a few hundred volts).
  • Let's get real (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ancient_Hacker (751168) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @07:17PM (#26553733)

    Let's get real. It can't be ZERO watts and still be listening to the net, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Maybe less than one watt with custom CMOS net interfaces. But not ZERO.

  • Yep, a shell game (Score:5, Insightful)

    by russotto (537200) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @07:21PM (#26553771) Journal

    Even though the Esprimo Green uses no power in standby mode Fujitsu say it can still be managed with LAN, Bluetooth, and UMTS. A demonstration of which will surely be given during CeBIT.

    To do that

    1) They've managed to break the laws of physics or
    2) They're lying or
    3) They're storing power

    And of course, if it's 3, that stored power has to be replenished when the computer is on, causing slightly higher draw then. It's certainly possible that the efficiency of doing that is greater than the efficiency of drawing a very small current from the line. But calling it "zero power" is just marketing. Truly "using zero power" would mean that any internal state of charge wouldn't be depleted either.

  • by MechaBlue (1068636) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @07:31PM (#26553865)

    Turning a computer on can take several minutes of repetitive, non-productive work. You need to boot the system, log in, open applications, open documents, and find you place in the documents. This can take several minutes.

    Standby mode takes care of this hassle at the cost of a few Watts of power. Now they have a way to get the benefits without using those few Watts of power.

    "...uphill both ways..."

  • by EmbeddedJanitor (597831) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @07:34PM (#26553911)
    This sort of saving it getting to be pretty typical of a lot of "green marketing". Make a big deal out of the very tiny savings and ignore the big stuff. Save the 1W or so, but ignore the fact that the computer as a whole uses a lot of power.

    The problem with just fixing and selling the small stuff is that this can actually be counter-productive. "Green guilt" has a positive purpose: make people feel bad so they do less of that bad thing. The "eco products" counter that: buy our xxx and you don't have to feel bad. This would be OK except that people often then modify their behavior. Someone that feels bad for driving 5 miles with an SUV might feel they're doing the planet good when they drive 100 miles with a Prius.

    Same deal here. I don't feel bad about leaving my computer on any more because the monitor is now using zero Watts.

  • by diablovision (83618) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @07:35PM (#26553935)

    1. Invent zero-watt sleep mode for PC.
    2. Patent relevant technology.
    3. Lobby the Euros for legislation requiring feature.
    4. Profit!

    (forget about valid strategy of turning off PC--stupid consumers can't be bothered)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @07:55PM (#26554153)

    Even though the Esprimo Green uses no power in standby mode Fujitsu say it can still be managed with LAN, Bluetooth, and UMTS. A demonstration of which will surely be given during CeBIT.

    To do that

    1) They've managed to break the laws of physics or
    2) They're lying or
    3) They're storing power

    And of course, if it's 3, that stored power has to be replenished when the computer is on, causing slightly higher draw then. It's certainly possible that the efficiency of doing that is greater than the efficiency of drawing a very small current from the line. But calling it "zero power" is just marketing. Truly "using zero power" would mean that any internal state of charge wouldn't be depleted either.

    Just because it is 0 Watt dosen't mean it can be dissconnected from the power.

    Asynchronous models are like this in where when not being used they draw 0 power (except for leakage current) as no switching occurs. As soon as a signal comes it starts switching and power is drawn.

    Maybe they just figured a way to pause the clock and have the wakeup managment part working like an asynchronous unit. Then it could do all they say without storing power or 'breaking the laws of physics'.

  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@h a c k i sh.org> on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @08:38PM (#26554539)

    If, for example, mandates like this end up requiring use of suspend-to-disk over suspend-to-RAM, increasing the unsuspend time, the likely effect is that more people will simply leave their computers fully powered on for more time, making the overall power usage worse than before.

  • by wish bot (265150) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @10:49PM (#26555649)

    I sort of agree with you, but this has a purpose.

    When people put their equipment to sleep, they expect it to be effectively 'off'. The problem has been that most devices draw a TON of power when in standby - this something that certainly needs addressing (and there's no real good reason for it other than sheer engineering laziness).

    Now, worrying about zero-power standby on your 300MW super-sized plasma might be hypocritical, but the EU (and other governments) have established targets for these sorts of things too. I'd have to say that considering every aspect of electronics with regards to efficiency is a good thing.

"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)

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