Marvell (News - Alert) is doing its part to keep PC energy use at a minimum as well as helping to reduce the overall carbon footprint generated by personal computing technology such as laptop computers. The Santa Clara-based chipmaker today announced energy efficient digital power factor correction technology for power supplies.
Based on the company’s digital signal processing (DSP) and power management expertise, the chips that are being announced will be designed to boost energy efficiency by aligning the current and voltage coming from the electrical outlet for optimal energy use by the PC.
Presently, research shows that more than half the power from the outlet is wasted as heat.
Cutting the waste is in and of itself it is an admirable goal. But when you consider that there are more than 10 billion AC-DC power supplies used in computing, telecommunications, and consumer electronics worldwide, the potential energy reduction is huge.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), more efficient power supply designs could save approximately $3 billion and about 24 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.
Said Hubie Notohamiprodjo, general manager, Industrial Control and Power Management, Marvell Semiconductor, “At Marvell, we are committed to green technology that will reduce our collective carbon footprint and slow the rate of climate change. As both a supplier and user of energy efficient technology and a sponsor of the Climate Savers Computing Initiative (News - Alert), we are actively engaged in developing products that will save energy in electronic devices as well as implementing energy savings in our facilities.”
Notohamiprodjo believes the energy-saving technology currently being developed has uses beyond the computing industry.
“Marvell’s smart energy efficient technology could eventually be used in internal and external power supplies for a wide range of consumer electronics including flat-screen TVs, home entertainment products, and portable devices.”
Larry Qua, Chairman and CEO, Ionics EMS, Inc., sees the potential as well.
“With more functionality integrated onto a single chip, we can build our power supplies with fewer components thus saving cost and reducing design and manufacturing complexity. We are using Marvell’s chips to build energy efficient notebook adapters as well as power supplies for applications such as flat-screen TVs and printers.”
Marvell’s cost-effective, DSP-based AC-DC controller chips allow power-supply manufacturers to eliminate up to 20 discrete components.
In a statement, the company shared their belief that new product initiatives such as this will help reduce design complexity, increase reliability, and drive down manufacturing costs, as well as slim down today’s notebook adapter bricks in weight and size.
The Marvell 88EM8041 controller chip for notebook adapters and the Marvell 88EM8011 controller chip for desktop power supplies are in production now with volume ramp anticipated for Q1’08.
Greg Galitzine (News - Alert) is editorial director of TMCnet. To read more of Greg’s articles, please visit his columnist page.