Law sets new mandatory power, lighting efficiency standards

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA - The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, passed by both houses of Congress and signed into law by President Bush in December, includes stringent, mandatory energy-efficiency standards on external power supplies (EPS), the AC adapters and chargers that power cellphones, cordless phones, modems and countless other electronic products.

Most external power supplies manufactured for sale in the U.S. after July 1, 2008 must comply with the standards. The standards are equivalent to the second, tighter version of the California Energy Commission EPS standards, also scheduled to take effect on July 1.

The energy law also mandates significant improvements in the efficiency of lighting technologies used in general service lamps. The new lighting standards are expected to result in the phase-out of traditional incandescent light bulbs beginning in 2012, in favor of more efficient technologies including compact fluorescent bulbs and light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

Power Integrations, the leader in high-voltage analog integrated circuits for power conversion, offers a comprehensive range of products and design resources to help manufacturers meet the standards cost-effectively and with rapid time-to-market.

The company's EcoSmart technology enables switched-mode power supplies and off-line LED driver circuits able to meet all current and proposed efficiency specifications worldwide. The company's Green Room provides information on the new law and other efficiency standards plus an array of support tools to enable conforming designs, including application notes, reference design kits and the company's free power supply design software, PI Expert.

"The California efficiency standards touched off a transformation of the external power supply market," said Balu Balakrishnan, president and CEO of Power Integrations. "Linear transformers-also called energy vampires-are no longer a viable option for most end products.

"The next phase of the standards, with tighter active-mode and no-load requirements, will now be adopted nationwide as a result of the new energy law, and additional EPS specifications are being developed by ENERGY STAR(r) and the European Union," continued Balakrishnan. "Power Integrations is committed to helping manufacturers meet these standards in a timely and cost-effective manner so that consumers need not pay extra for products with efficient power supplies.

"The transition to efficient lighting is also part of a worldwide trend, as plans to phase out traditional light bulbs have also been announced in Australia, Canada and Europe," Balakrishnan noted. "Our chips enable simple, energy-efficient off-line LED driver circuits that are compact enough to fit into the base of a standard light bulb."

In addition to the EPS and lighting standards, the law incorporates the requirements of Executive Order 13221, signed by President Bush in 2001, which mandates that federal agencies purchase products that use no more than one watt of power in standby mode or, when no such products are available, products with the lowest available standby power wattage.


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