May 28, 2008 -- How is power really distributed in the office? How did the world's largest country establish a workable cell phone charging standard? How does the EPA view the proliferation of power supplies?
These questions, among others, will be up for consideration at the second gathering of the Alliance for Universal Power Supplies (AUPS), an industry standards group committed to developing a universal power interface for electronic products that use external power supplies.
AUPS will meet on June 13 from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. at San Francisco's PG&E Auditorium. Featured presenters will include: John Katz, pollution prevention coordinator at the EPA Region 9; Guili He, from the academy of telecommunication research of China's Ministry of Industry and Information, who will discuss that country's successes in implementing a cell phone charging standard; and Joel Zwier, manager of advanced marketing at Steelcase, with a presentation titled "Power Distribution and Connectivity Challenges in Today's Office."
The half-day conference will also feature an industry panel titled "What's Stopping All of Us from Doing What Everyone Wants?" The event will also include sessions titled "The Consumer's Voice" and "A Greener Workplace."
AUPS maintains that, in the past decade, the consumer electronics (CE) industry has developed and sold billions of devices that require AC to DC power supplies. Because every new CE device comes with a charger, some 3.2 billion power supplies will be designed and shipped in 2008 alone; because every electronic product has a unique voltage and current requirement, many incompatible power supplies must be designed, produced, packaged, shipped and discarded unnecessarily.
By making power supplies universal and reusable through digital collaboration, AUPS contends that manufacturers can eliminate costs, while consumers enjoy the convenience of powering any product with any power supply. Significant reductions in solid waste may also be achieved, notes the group.
"The formation of the AUPS is an important step for companies committed to creating open systems to power their products," offers Darwin Chang, CTO of Westinghouse Digital Electronics. "A sensible standard will serve as a catalyst for manufacturers and as a boon to consumers."
AUPS is comprised of a diverse group of organizations, including: consumer electronics manufacturers; ASIC and power supply power firms; energy and waste management companies; various government agencies; equipment and tools manufacturers serving the automotive and aircraft industries; residential and commercial builders; cable and telephone companies; and the hospitality sector.
Through development of industry standards, AUPS says its members seek to enable their products and services to be universally compatible and eco-friendly. The group's stated focus is on multi-port, reusable and efficient developments that ensure interoperability and encourage innovation and market growth.