We need a new power standard (Larry Page agrees?)

by Chris Tyler

Related link: http://blog.chris.tylers.info/index.php?/archives/16-Its-Time-for-a-New-Power-St…

I was interested to read a report in The Register of Larry Page's CES speech, where (among many other, more notable things) he advocated a new standard for electrical power cabling for PCs and peripherals.

I didn't hear his speech, but the reports suggest that his ideas agree with one of my blog entries from a couple of weeks ago: that it's time to get rid of the dozens of AC-to-DC power bricks that litter our homes and offices and adopt a new power standard, where a high-quality supply (I called it a 'power hub') would supply DC to all of our gadgets in a more efficient, organized, and reliable manner (more thoughts on the details).

If a UPS manufacturer (APC?) and some PSU makers got together to kickstart such a standard, I'm sure that makers of other equipment - hubs, routers, scanners, printers, DSL modems - would find it hard to resist shaving a few dollars off of their per-unit costs by leaving out the power brick.

If you're as fed up with the tangle of wires under your desk as I am, let's gently lean on the hardware companies to make it happen!

Do you agree that a new power standard is needed? What would it look like?


2006-01-07 20:36:29
Powered USB
Have you seen the USB PlusPower spec? (http://www.usbpluspower.org/) It provides up to 24V at 6 amps in a connector that includes standard USB, and is used by IBM for their POS systems to cut down on wall warts.

This wouldn't solve everything, but if at least PC peripherals had it as a standard option it would make things better.

2006-01-07 20:46:23
Powered USB
Thanks for the pointer -- that's an interesting option for some applications. It would be nice if it supported higher current levels at +12, enough to power a PC.
2006-01-09 06:25:35
rather not
At the moment if one thing fails I can keep working using everything else, it that one super-powersupply were to fail I'd be stuck with a completely dead house.

For that same reason I avoid almost all all-in-one machines like the printerfaxscannertelephonecablemodem, the microwavefridgetelevision, the vcrdvdrecordertelevisionsatellitereceiver, etc. etc.
2006-01-09 09:27:06
Powered USB
This PC World article says that USB is already handy for portable devices:

"You can recharge any device that comes with an internal rechargeable battery and a USB port by connecting it to a powered USB hub, whether in your PC or a stand-alone device. USB cables are easier to carry around than the bulky 'wall wart' AC power adapters that accompany most portable devices. Cell phone makers often provide USB cables as an accessory."


2006-01-09 12:07:08
Powered USB
The problem with the basic USB spec for power is that (a) most of the devices that use it for power don't report the current used, so it's easy to overload, (b) the maximum power available is 2.5 watts (500 mA @ 5 v), and (c) there's no provision for 12 or 24 volt supply. I think we need something more capable and universal...