Korea has stepped up to be the first government to mandate a maximum power consumption rate for "green" PCs and laptops in standby mode. An evolution of the country's Energy Efficiency program, the ruling means that PCs must consume 2W or less while in standby, and laptops 1W or less, in order to wear the "e-Standby" compliance label.
The new limit applies to any laptop or laptop-style device with an integrated power supply of 1,000W or above. While manufacturers are still free to produce devices with above 1W/2W standby consumption, the Korean government believes that consumer demand for earth-friendly (and cheaper to run) hardware will drive low-power adoption.
Intel have already stepped up to highlight that its Atom range of processors - commonly found in netbooks and budget ultraportables and nettops - already comes in under the 1W standby point, while many of its recent desktop motherboards also consume less than 1W in standby. Desktop PCs and their monitors are believed to account for 1-percent of the world's energy use.