The reign of dreaded "vampire power" could be about to end thanks to the latest power-supply chip from STMicroelectronics, a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications.
The new IC meets the international specification for zero standby power, and is the first in the world to provide a smart way of managing the wake-up function in appliances such as white goods, in lighting, and in industrial equipment.
The long-running battle to minimize power sucked in by equipment in standby mode (vampire power) has driven worldwide adoption of proposals such as the IEA1 initiatives to reduce standby power used by appliances to less than 1W in 2010 and 0.5W in 2013. Today, the most advanced power-supply technologies are capable of driving down standby power consumption below 5mW, which is rounded to zero according to the IEC standard for household and office appliances.2
Although regulations are driving down standby power per appliance, the number of appliances in use globally is increasing. ST's new VIPer0P IC helps reduce wasted power and CO2 emissions by enabling effective zero-power standby in appliances such as clothes dryers, washing machines, dishwashers, coffee makers, and microwaves. The chip can also be used in lighting controls, industrial appliances, and air conditioners. By introducing a unique, patented smart-management capability not offered by any other converter in the market, VIPer0P allows the appliance to be woken from standby via a touchscreen or remote control thereby enhancing convenience for users.
"Designers at the world's leading appliance brands rely on our VIPer® avalanche- rugged integrated Power ICs to meet the toughest eco-design specifications," said Matteo Lo Presti, Group Vice President, Industrial & Power Conversion Division, STMicroelectronics. "VIPer0P now adds advanced zero-power technology to the superior ease of design, energy efficiency, and ruggedness that characterize the VIPer family."
VIPer0P has been designed into forthcoming new appliances by lead customers, and is now in volume production in the SO16N surface-mount package, priced from $0.54 for orders of 1000 pieces.