It's time to digitize power supplies to make them smart enough to work with multiple devices and draw only the power that electronics need, according to start-up Green Plug.

Green Plug today at the Consumer Electronics Show introduced its Green Power Processor, which it said will be available in the second quarter.

A concept design of a universal power supply that would optimize power delivery to multiple electronic gadgets.

(Credit: Green Plug)

The Green Power Processor is a chip designed for digital power supplies, which are meant to be more versatile and efficient than existing analog power adapters.

When built into a power supply, the processor can detect how much voltage and power a device, such as a PC or TV, needs from the grid. That allows electronics to use less energy overall than analog power supplies and to eliminate stand-by or vampire power.

Green Plug, founded in 2006 and based in San Ramon, Calif., is marketing this processor to power supply manufacturers as a way to improve energy efficiency. Power adapters, or supplies, convert alternating current from the grid to the direct current that electronics use.

The company's technology also allows for a single power adapter to serve multiple devices, which would more convenient to consumers, according to the company.

"Chip makers and power supply manufacturers now have the technology they need to undertake the transition from clunky black bricks and wall warts to sleek, efficient digital power adapter architectures capable of exchanging information between the power source and the load and adjusting power use according to product need," Green Plug CEO Frank Paniagua said in a statement.

In October, Green Plug partner U.K.-based Imagination Technologies said its Pure subsidiary will make a digital radio using Green Plug technology to improve the environmental impact of its products.

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