Intel is aiming to curb the desktop PC's thirst for power, in a measure that could help companies and individuals save on monthly electric bills.
The chipmaker said Thursday that four major manufacturers of power supply units for desktop PCs have signed on to follow the Intel-developed ATX 12V Power Supply Design Guide, a blueprint for more efficient versions of the component sets that carry juice from an electrical outlet to a PC. Intel says that by following the guidelines, manufacturers can enable desktops to use as much as 25 percent less power.
"Our back-of-the envelope calculations are that inefficiencies in the power supply could account for almost a quarter of total system power," said Todd Brady, a product ecology program manager in Intel's Technology and Manufacturing Group.
Brady said that in certain states, desktop power supply units waste almost as much electricity as they channel to other components. Tests by Intel researchers revealed that some power supplies were less than 50 percent efficient when not being fully utilized, such as when a desktop was performing light tasks like sending e-mail or creating documents, Brady said. Most of the waste takes the form of heat.
Intel's new design guidelines require manufacturers to increase their power supply efficiency from less than 50 percent to 60 percent, when the supply units are dealing with a light, 20 percent load. When handling electricity demands of 50 percent or higher, the units should operate at 70 percent efficiency.
News source: ZDNet News