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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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  • Re:Yep, a shell game (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @07:27PM (#26553813)

    4) They are drawing power out of band. E.g a net card running on the power of the packets, or the standby circuit activating from the power supplied by the VGA connector...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @07:41PM (#26553983)

    It's a matter of scale.

    Let's say every American has their TV/PC on standby at the same time. Let's assume that the average power draw of those devices is ~650mw (probably on the low side, lot's of devices run very warm in standby mode). That's ~200Mw, or 10% of the peak output of the Hoover Dam.

  • Re:Yep, a shell game (Score:5, Interesting)

    by afidel (530433) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @07:53PM (#26554129)
    Interesting idea, combine PoE and WoL. You send the magic packet, the switchport intercepts it and provides power to that port then the NIC uses the PoE power to switch a relay in the PSU. Would be very efficient and still allow the computers to be managed for patching. It wouldn't add much in the consumer space but I see it as a future direction for large enterprise deployments. Oh and if anyone tries to patent it, prior art =)
  • Re:Standby? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by arth1 (260657) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @08:03PM (#26554245) Homepage Journal

    It matters for security, if someone steals a PC in standby or hybrid standby.
    (Yes, even with a password. Think about it.)

  • by TheRing (744219) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @08:10PM (#26554313)
    it looks from here http://sp.fujitsu-siemens.com/dmsp/docs/ds_esprimo_e.pdf [fujitsu-siemens.com] like its only the screen that draws 0 watts when ts in standby - looks like the power for the screen is routed through the pc box and so they just make the pc turn off the power to the screen when the pc is in standby. It is a bit hard to tell, as the first part of it seems to be written in engrish
  • by jtownatpunk.net (245670) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @08:33PM (#26554507)

    Okay, they'll make a modified one that doesn't keep those features active and opens a relay at the end of the hibernation process which is then closed by pressing a button on the case, triggering restoration from hibernation mode. And You can make hibernate zero-watt by unplugging the device. And you can still do all this by just turning the darn thing off and cutting the power. This isn't a situation that needs technological innovation. It needs people to be educated, then exercise some common sense. Then they can save money without having to spend it on new equipment.

    If they want to save some freakin' power in the future, stop loading up operating systems with all this eye candy BS that require multicore processors and 128 megs of dedicated video ram just to work. Put out a "gets the job done" operating system that is rock solid and has a small resource footprint. Then start pushing the new low-power processors like Intel's Atom. Flood corporate America with those things and stop giving core 2 duos to secretaries who spend all day reading email, typing up documents, making powerpoint presentations, and all that other stuff that doesn't need a 100 watt CPU and aero effects.

    THAT is where we need to cut power consumption. Saving 100 watts over 8-9 hours, not 1-4 watts over 15-16 hours.

  • by Creepy Crawler (680178) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @08:59PM (#26554737)

    ---Worrying over a device drawing milliwatts is silly.

    Is it now?

    Have you ever heard of QRP? It's a code for power reduction in terms of ham radio. When we're talking QRP, we're talking about 1w or LESS power to communicate anywhere in the world. In the early spring, we can communicate with Midway (the island), and we're in Indiana. We've done satellite communications on .5w, however that was using a parabolic antenna.

    So yes, 1w is a lot of power.

  • Re:Define "Standby" (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Pikiwedia.net (1392595) on Thursday January 22, 2009 @03:36AM (#26557259) Homepage
    I also want my workstation/server to be always-on but the power cost is just too high. What I want is a computer that consumes little or none power when in idle or low-performance mode. How much juice it's eating when I'm actively using it is less relevant. Any tips on how to build a such computer?
  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Thursday January 22, 2009 @03:38AM (#26557267)

    My point is not what can you do with a watt, my point is that a watt is a trivial amount of power compared to what our devices use. The monitor I'm looking at right now while typing this is drawing about 60 watts, and it's an LCD. My air conditioner draws around 3500 watts when active. My car can produce nearly 130,000 watts when run to it's full capacity.

    So suppose you have a device that draws 1 watt idle. Most draw less, but suppose. Ok that means you can run that for 60 hours before equaling just one hour of my monitor usage. You can run it for half a year before equaling just one hour of my AC. The car, well I can't do an accurate comparison since it doesn't run at full power, but I'm betting you can run an idle device for over a year for the same amount of energy as a short trip.

    So, my point is that worrying about that shit is stupid. That isn't where the majority of our energy usage is happening. Saying "Oh we reduced this to zero," sounds nice until you realize that in a single day an AC will use more than that thing will over a lifetime of idle.

    I mean take my monitor as an example. As I said, I measure the power draw of it on to be about 60 watts. When it's idle, as in I've pressed the "soft off" switch, it doesn't read a power draw. My meter has a resolution of 1 watt so I don't know what the draw is. Somewhere less than a watt. We'll call it half a watt for argument's sake. I suspect it's actually less, but whatever.

    Now I've owned the monitor for about a year, and in that time it's been on for 2090 hours (it's a professional monitor, keeps that in it's firmware). So during it's life it has used about 125kWh. Assuming that it is in soft off mode the rest of the time (I actually shut down my UPS) it would have spent about 6,670 hours idle. That would equal a usage of about 3kWh, maybe less.

    So, what's the real thing to solve here in terms of less energy usage? Worrying about making it "zero power" when off (which I can do if I like, either with the monitor's hard off switch of the UPS) or reducing the power used when on by just 5%? Well 5% of 125kWh is 6kWh so over twice the draw as reducing the idle mode. It's also a lot more realistic. An LED backlight would probably get that 5%, maybe more.

    That's what I mean. It is worrying about shit that just doesn't matter much. Even if you are just worried about the electronics, the power draw is in their on mode. An hour of on will equal days of idle. However all that pales in comparison to many other devices.

    So sure, I see the point in saying "Keep your soft off draw as low as practical." Seems like modern devices do that already. However this "It must be zero watts," is stupid. I reiterate: 1 watt is NOT a lot of energy.

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