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WHAT HAS INDUSTRY DONE TO LAY THE FOUNDATION FOR AN EPA PROGRAM ON ENERGY EFFICIENT COMPUTING?

WHAT HAS INDUSTRY DONE TO LAY THE FOUNDATION FOR AN EPA PROGRAM
 ON ENERGY EFFICIENT COMPUTING?
 WASHINGTON, May 6 /PRNewswire/ -- On May 11, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plans to announce forthcoming programs centered on voluntary industry efforts to manufacture energy efficient products. The Computer and Business Equipment Manufacturers Association (CBEMA) supports industry cooperation with EPA to develop a program highlighting computer equipment manufacturers' current ability to produce energy efficient computers, networks and components.
 Criteria for participation in the development of this program will be spelled out in a procedural Memorandum of Understanding that individual companies will sign with EPA. The nature of this MOU will be addressed at the May 11 announcement.
 On or before June 17, EPA and participating manufacturers will announce details of the program and contents of a second, technically specific MOU.
 Numerous technological advancements have contributed to the industry's ability to produce energy efficient products, such as those that will meet the criteria spelled out in the second MOU. Steps forward in energy efficiency have been made since the industry's inception.
 For example, from 1950 to 1990, there was a decrease in power consumption by four magnitudes -- that is, 10,000 times -- while there was a rise in computing ability by the same amount.
 -- In 1950, vacuum tubes were the order of the day, with huge amounts of power being required to energize the tubes for electron flow. Then came relay logic, followed by electronic switching, triacs and transistors. Integrated circuits compacted these functions, reducing further the power usage points. Large scale integration (LSI) is still reducing space and the amount of required power.
 -- During this same period, memory methods have progressed from magnetic drum to CRAM cards, and to 12-inch rigid discs and disc packs. Head pick-up technology equally progressed to flying heads; 8-inch floppies were reduced to 5.25-inch to 3.5-inch and, recently, to the 2-inch size.
 Random access memory storage has become denser, and with new technologies, threatens to replace magnetic floppies altogether. Without moving parts, not only are computing times faster, but power consumption is much less.
 -- The power supply, a critical element in the computer system, has had a similar change in power requirements. Large transformers have been changed to reduce bulk and weight to small packages of high wattage capabilities. The switching regulated power supply changed 60 cycles per second frequency power sources to 50 megahertz and higher. With the increase in high switching capability for high power, the transformer size was decreased by 10,000 percent. The switching regulated power supply now is also used in entertainment units, such as VCRs, TVs and stereo equipment.
 As in so many other fields, power conservation technology developed for computers has transferred to other industries.
 -- The method by which power is taken from the power company has changed, such that switchers are not turned on until the voltage has risen to nearly its peak, and then as it begins to decrease, the switcher is turned off, until the next peak. By selective power extraction, switchers are more efficient in taking power from distribution networks.
 When one follows the trends already put in motion by the computer industry, by the year 2000, average power requirements per unit will decrease another magnitude, while still increasing the computing ability, perhaps by two magnitudes.
 Several trends have already been set in motion for future reduction in power and higher efficiency in computers. For example, LSI chips are currently assembled in a way that eliminates large printed wiring boards and, with the rise in speed of computing, there is less time for power to be used, resulting in significant power savings.
 -0- 5/6/92
 /NOTE: Technical contributions to this back grounder provided by Manning I. Rose, senior engineer, NCR Technology and Development./
 /CONTACT: Maryann Karinch of the Computer and Business Equipment Manufacturers Association, 202-626-5725/ CO: Environmental Protection Agency; Computer and Business Equipment
 Manufacturers Association ST: District of Columbia IN: CPR SU:


TW-DC -- DC008 -- 6888 05/06/92 08:16 EDT
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Date:May 6, 1992
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