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Reduce power consumption with MoCA

Posted: 01 Mar 2013     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Multimedia over Coax Alliance  set-top boxes 

The MoCA 2.0 specification, on the other hand, put an emphasis on providing all the mechanisms required for both the Nodes and the rest of the system to go into low power states and only Wake-Up when necessary. All MoCA 2.0 implementations will have full support of multiple power states and will include the required software interface to allow full control of the host on the power states of the Node. These implementations will also have the required handshakes for supporting the smooth transitions of the rest of the system into and out of low power states.

In STBs the consumption of the MoCA sub-system is a small part of the total power consumption. Using MoCA 2.0 will allow a significant reduction in the total energy consumption of the STB by allowing both the MoCA sub-system and the rest of the system to go into low power states smoothly and without interruption to the MoCA network.

Table 3 shows an example of the potential energy savings of the new generation STBs which are based on MoCA 2.0 implementations relative to the current implementations. The power consumption of the STB is assumed to be 30W when it is fully functional (Active state) and 0.5W when in a low power state (Standby or Sleep).

Table 3: STB yearly energy consumption.

This paper points out the lack of power saving features in MoCA 1.0 and 1.1, and presents the extensive support of MoCA 2.0 of such features in the form of four power states ranging from Active to Sleep, a Wake on MoCA feature, and a software interface to a PMS. This paper also describes the four power states and how the MoCA Node interacts with the MoCA network and with the PMS when transitioning between the different power states. The paper concludes by showing that the mechanism provided by MoCA 2.0 for transitioning between the different power states can enable implementations which significantly reduce the overall energy consumption of the entire system.

The United States Department of Energy has recently started an initiative to regulate the maximum allowed annual energy consumption of STBs and networking equipment.1 This effort is separate from the well known ENERG Y STAR program2 administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (while this effort is optional, most operators and OEMs participate in the program, which implements increasingly stringent requirements on a regular basis). The Energy Policy and Conservation Act allows for the regulation of devices that have average annual per-household energy use exceeding 100kWh and STBs will almost certainly qualify. It is possible that regulation will be completed by Q3 2012 with an effective date three years later (based on date of manufacture of finished product).

The California Energy Commission has begun its own effort around regulation of STB power and is in the early information gathering process.3 The European Commission also has an active program to encourage industry self-regulation of STB energy consumption.4


About the author
Tom Lookabaugh is the CTO of Entropic Communications.

To download the PDF version of this article, click here.

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