International Standards and Conformity Assessment for all electrical, electronic and related technologies

IEC e-tech – January/February 2014

IEC e-tech: JAnuary/February 2014

Multimedia & appliances


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Editor in Chief:

Gabriela Ehrlich


Managing Editor e-tech :

Claire Marchand



Janice Blondeau

Aliyah Esmail

Morand Fachot

Zoé Smart


Connected 24/7


The 2014 International CES (Consumer Electronics Show), held on 7-10 January 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States, lived up to its reputation, showcasing not only products that have just reached the marketplace, but also a wide range of technological innovations that may bring fundamental changes in our lives in the not so distant future.


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Tech trends 2014


The electronics industry is one of the fastest innovating industries globally. In 2013 globally USD 6 billion worth of electronic products were sold in categories that didn't exist just a few years ago, including for example 3D printing, connected devices or tablets.


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CES 2014 megatrends


From dog bracelets to pill boxes, to devices that measure our health and fitness levels, the Internet of Things has become the Internet of Everything. At CES, literally hundreds of companies presented connected devices that aim to give us more control over our bodies and the things that surround us.


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Advanced displays for better content


The rollout of 4K or UHDTV (ultra high definition TV) is forecast to bring about a spectacular growth in the sale of sets. Mobile devices also benefit from developments in display technologies, including flexible screen displays. A number of IEC TCs prepare International Standards in that field.


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Back with a vengeance!


While many thought high-performance audio had lost the prominent place it had in the entertainment sphere a few decades ago, it has been making a significant comeback under a different guise with connected and wireless devices. Many aspects of IEC standardization work underpin the renewal of this sector..


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Tiny MEMS - Huge impact on our digital future


MEMS, tiny electromechanical systems, are now an indispensable component of any piece of electronic equipment, from smart phones, to tablets, to wearable devices, cars, aeronautics and much more (see also article on CES trends in this e-tech). Often MEMS outperform their macro scale counterparts achieving feats much larger than their size. IEC work both in standardization and conformity assessment plays an important role in the further expansion of this technology.


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The Internet of Things


At the International CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas, a group of experts met and shared some of the opportunities and hurdles facing the Internet of Things in the consumer space. This article provides a short summary of their discussion.


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Standards in the Cloud


Don Deutsch, chairman of ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 38: Information technology/Distributed Application Platforms and Services, shares his thoughts on the importance of standards for the paradigm-shifting field of cloud computing within the information technology sector and the role of Subcommittee 38. Also discussed are ISO/IEC JTC 1: Information technology, various consortia in the development of cloud computing standards, and what may be expected for the future of cloud computing standardization.


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More content down the same pipe


Over the last two decades digitization of multimedia product content has allowed global access to a wider choice of services and better audio and video. A most visible aspect of advances in broadcast technology is the availability of new equipment, which relies on standardization work from many IEC Technical Committees. The less evident, but no less significant component, has been the rollout of successive versions of ever more efficient digital compression coding/decoding standards.


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Food print


“Darling, what should I print for dinner tonight?” Not cook, not bake, but print. This question, which, six months ago would have seemed odd, may be one frequently asked in households later this year. The 3D printer – where anything from a prosthetic foot for a duck to a toy car or a handgun can be created in a matter of hours – is now set to revolutionize the way food is prepared.


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Connecting homes, connecting things


Commercial and residential buildings are set to become more and more automated and connected to meet the needs to cut energy use and for more security, better working and living conditions. This trend presents many opportunities, but also challenges, which manufacturers and governments are addressing, supported in their efforts by IEC standardization work.


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TC 119 - Gearing up for standardization


Printed electronics is set to revolutionize the electronics industry and many other domains. It will prove a disruptive, yet creative process that will allow the production of new low-cost electronic devices. IEC TC 119 was set up in 2011 to prepare International Standards in the field of printed electronics. Its Chairman, Dr Alan Hodgson, provides an update on the set up of the TC structure.


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Small or huge – displays are everywhere


The top categories of products presented at this year's Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show and due to come onto the market in 2014 include electronic displays that offer different characteristics and functionalities. Ultra wide monitors and TV sets, portable computing devices and wearable devices attracted most attention. All these, and any other equipment that uses electronic displays, rely on standardization work from IEC TC 110: Electronic display devices.


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Nightmare of a child chewing on a cord


It happens to every parent at some point. Your child is playing with his toys in the living room. You step out of the room for a minute, knowing that the room has been baby proofed, feeling confident that nothing could happen. Then you come back and see that your curious little one is chewing on the television cord. A raft of nightmare scenarios pass before your eyes as you imagine what could have happened while you were gone. Then you shake yourself and remove the cord from your child’s grasp. You are able to do this because IECEE, tests and certifies the safety of audio/video equipment.


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A CA perspective from Turkey


One of Turkey’s leading companies and leading consumer electrical equipment manufacturer Vestel has been part of IEC Conformity Assessment System IECEE for the last ten years. e-tech spoke to İhsaner Alkım, Vestel Executive Committee Member, about what this brings to Vestel and his advice to other companies, big and small.


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2014 IECEx International Conference in Malaysia


The 2014 IECEx International Conference, organized by the IEC and IECEx in conjunction with the UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) will take place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 19-20 February 2014. The event will provide a unique opportunity for industries in the region to better understand IEC International Standards and Conformity Assessment Systems. The Conference will show them how they can benefit from the IECEx services that cover Ex equipment and systems.


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Gifts that can be hazardous


IECQ has the perfect solution for toy manufacturers who want to create safe and certified electronic toys that have hazardous substance-free electronic components. Toys using electronic components from suppliers that are certified under the IECQ HSPM Scheme are manufactured with hazardous substance-free electronic components.


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World Electronics Forum


The bi-annual WEF meeting, held during the International CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas, brought together representatives from 15 countries. The IEC presented its efforts to combat counterfeit electronics. This is a major issue for the electronics industry and delegates of WEF were surprised to discover that the IEC offers real-life industry solutions in this area through IECQ and IECEE.


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Introducing the IEC 2013 Young Professional Leaders


Upcoming expert engineers, technicians and managers from throughout the world, who aspire to become more involved in the IEC and help shape the future of international standardization and conformity assessment in the field of electrotechnology are brought together in the IEC Young Professionals programme. e-tech profiles the three 2013 YP Leaders, elected by their peers in New Delhi.


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Closer ties to build trade and share expertise


In a move that will bring benefits to both Russian companies operating in international markets and international companies working in the Russian market, the IEC and Russian Federal standardization and conformity assessment agencies have signed a Statement of Cooperation.


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A focus on industry and evolution


With a lifelong passion for standardization and conformity assessment work, Michel Brénon has focused on industry needs and has helped each of the IEC Conformity Assessment Systems evolve. Now that he has stepped down from his latest positions as a Member of the IEC Conformity Assessment Board as well as IECQ Vice-Chairman and Secretary of ExTAG, the IECEx Technical Committee, he looks back at the evolution of the CA Systems.


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ACEA nominations


In january, ACEA, the IEC Advisory Committee on Environmental Aspects, welcomed two new members, Tsuyoshi Naruoka, representing TC 100: Audio, video and multimedia systems and equipment, and Lucio Azzola, representing SC 17B: Low-voltage switchgear and controlgear.


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Obituary - Professor Takashi Tomita


The IEC was saddened by the death of Professor Takashi Tomita, who passed away on 20 January 2014, at the age of 63. In recent years, Takashi Tomita was Chief Executive officer of Smart Solar International Inc., a spin-off from the University of Tokyo’s RCAST (Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology); Tomita also played an important role in the IEC, as a member of the MSB (Market Strategy Board) until 2011.


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International Standards for sustainable energy


Forging closer links between policy makers, renewable energy and energy efficiency stakeholders and standards developers is the focus of a workshop to be held in Paris next month. Co-hosted by IEC, IEA and ISO, the event is an opportunity to improve the engagement of those active in international standardization and to ensure that international standards support the transition towards more sustainable energy systems.


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Allow interoperability - Secure investment


IEC Global Visions interviewed Thembani Bukula, Regulator Member at NERSA (National Energy Regulator of South Africa). In this interview, he explains why the use of IEC International Standards and participation in IEC work allow countries to ensure that investment in national electrical infrastructure is secure, reliable, safe and affordable.


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Single charger for notebook computers


Each year billions of external chargers are shipped globally. Power supplies for notebooks weigh typically around 300 but sometimes up to 600 grams, and aren’t generally usable from one computer to the next. Sometimes they get lost or break, which can mean that computers which still work perfectly well are thrown away. A new IEC Technical Specification provides another option…one single charger for notebook computers and laptops.


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Protecting rights


Consumers are producing, viewing, listening to and managing an increasing volume of digital content on devices in the consumer electronics, mobile and PC domains. They want to enjoy and share this content across different devices and locations in their home environment. The DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) has developed guidelines that allow the design of interoperable devices and also protect the commercial interests of content providers.


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