Monday, 2 March 2009

Fujitsu Siemens and the Zero Watt PC

Not completely zero watt of course (that would be a story!), but Fujitsu Siemens Computers (FSC) has announced what it claims to be the world's first PC not to consume any power when in off-mode or hibernating.

The real benefit of this product is that it remains 'administrable' during a pre-set time slot for updates and other tasks. The PC can automatically go into the zero watt state, but the administrator can define a time when it wakes up and waits for updates, then it goes back to (zero watt) sleep. It's turned on again by the 'on' switch.

These PCs also have other green features, including an Energy Star 5.0 compliant power supply, Halogen-free mainboards, switched monitor outlet and a power-saving Intel chipset and processor.

There is a cost issue here, though. FSC's points out that these additional capabilities, particularly the power supply, are more expensive to manufacture, which suggest a higher price. On the other hand, based on some usage assumptions by FSC the estimate is that a zero watt mode would save somewhere between €1.7 and €3.46 a PC a year in energy costs. Whilst prices are not known, it suggests that a purchase decision would need to be based on more than just the energy saved.

The zero watt function will be available in the summer on the company's ESPRIMO E7935 and ESPRIMO P7935 0-Watt models (but you can see it at CeBIT, which starts on Tuesday). A step-by-step introduction into other product models is planned.

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