Many of us have heard of the terms Energy Star and Ecodesign, but what are these mysterious things and what do they mean to CSR and our customers?
To drive the development of products that consume less power, legislative bodies in the US and European Union developed the Energy Star and Ecodesign requirements for energy consumption in both home and office products. Although the standards are similar in the desired outcome of lower energy consumption, the Ecodesign requirements are considered far stricter. For any product to ship within the 27 member European Union the product must comply with all EU directives including the Ecodesign directive. It covers many of the products that use CSR’s chips, including printers, scanners and copiers.
For office products, the Ecodesign directive is primarily concerned with power consumption in standby mode. This is a state that products must enter after a set time of inactivity. For example if you are not actively using your laptop the screen goes dark and it puts itself into a low power state. The power consumption in standby mode is mandated by Ecodesign and is a very aggressive and difficult target. Basically, under current requirements a product must consume less than two watts in standby mode, with this requirement dropping to one watt in early 2013. While in standby the product of course still needs to perform certain operations and be able to “wake up” when needed.
For many products the user can simply press a key to wake up the device. Office printers and copiers are particularly challenging because they are expected to wake up on many different conditions, not just a key press. They must monitor activity on USB, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, fax and other interfaces, all while being in standby. Further adding to the challenge, manufacturers prefer cheap, inefficient power adapters, which typically use up most of the power budget, leaving only around 1/10th of the power budget for the SOC. To meet these challenging requirements, CSR’s Quatro SOCs provide a flexible, ultra low power operation mode.
When a Quatro SOC enters this low power state, the DRAM attached to the SOC is put into a low power “self-refresh” state and the SOC’s internal clocks are either slowed or stopped, leaving just enough logic alive to monitor ports and respond as needed. When a request does need to be serviced the clocks are restored to full speed just long enough to service the request and then immediately slowed or stopped again. While in this low power state the Quatro 5300 series, the newest in Quatro SOC line, consumes less than 100 milliwatts. This allows our customers to achieve the Ecodesign targets without sacrificing required product features.
Looking forward to the next generation of Quatro we will be implementing “power islands” in the SOC, where unneeded functionality can have power cut completely, resulting in additional power savings.
Kindly provided by
Product Marketing Manager