Wednesday, June 15, 2011
No. 286: Two technologies to null the standby electricity of home electronics (June 16, 2011)
A Tohoku University Professor Hideo Ohno developed a semiconductor that nulls the standby electricity of home electronics like PC and TV set in alliance with NEC. Current home electronics need standby electricity for data detention, and standby electricity is estimated to account for 6% of all power consumption in a household. The professor wishes to put the technology into practical use in five years. He developed a kind of nonvolatile memory to be built in the control circuit of home electronics. This circuit is like the brain that retains indispensable data while the device is in operation. Dealing an electron as s small magnet, the new technology makes it possible to read and write by maneuvering the direction of the magnet. It enables you to retain data even if you turn off the current. Toshiba also developed a semiconductor that nulls the standby electricity. Named Eco Chip, it has the function to take off the relay circuit connected to the AC outlet while the device is in the idle mode. The power stored in the capacitor while the device is in operation is supplied to the Eco Chip, and subsequently to the relay circuit. The capacitor will start to be charged in 12 hours after the device is in the idle mode. The Eco Chip consumes only one tenth as much power as the existing semiconductor. It will be built in Toshiba’s Blu-ray video recorders to be put on the market within the year.