Connected Efficiency Award

Since 2012, SEAD's Global Efficiency Medal has spotlighted innovative new technologies that can push the boundaries of efficiency and reduce energy consumption, with competitions for televisions, computer displays, electric motors, and lighting products. SEAD leveraged this experience to organize the 2017 Connected Efficiency Award, in collaboration with the Connected Devices Alliance (CDA) and the IEA 4E’s Electronic Devices and Networks Annex (EDNA).

The SEAD Connected Efficiency Award recognized energy efficient communications protocols and their authors. The nomination period closed on 08 September 2017. Final results were announced on 7 November 2017.

Connected Efficiency Award Winners


IEEE Std 1905.1a™-2014 IEEE Standard for a Convergent Digital Home Network for Heterogeneous Technologies

  • Protocol author. Chair: Purva Rajkotia; Vice-Chair: Scott Willy; Secretary: Soo H. Kim; Editor: Stephen Palm on behalf of: IEEE 1905.1 Convergent Digital Home Network Working Group (1905WG)
  • Protocol version. IEEE Std 1905.1a™-2014

The IEEE 1905.1a standard is an “abstraction layer” for multiple home networking technologies. It provides a common interface to widely deployed home networking technologies (Ethernet, Wi-Fi, HomePlug, MoCA, etc.) and facilitates advanced network management features including power management of networked devices. For example, 1905-equipped devices may request that other devices change the power state of their network interfaces, and this can be negotiated between devices in order to save energy.

Zigbee Protocols: PRO, Green Power, 3.0

  • Protocol author. Zigbee Alliance
  • Protocol version. Pro - 2017; Green Power - 1.0a; Zigbee - 3.0

The Zigbee PRO communications protocol is used by devices to communicate with each other. It incorporates a number of power optimization techniques to facilitate proper channel usage and avoid wasteful re-transmissions and over-the-air message collisions. The protocol also allows for storage of messages for “sleepy” devices.

Zigbee Green Power is an extension of Zigbee PRO and is aimed at energy harvesting devices (devices with no mains power and no battery). The protocol optimizes communications using a compressed data frame structure, simple one-hop messaging architecture, and limited two-way communications. 

Zigbee 3.0 provides application-layer functionality which is focused on energy management. This includes support for power configuration, polling control, device aging management and battery monitoring, as well as network traffic reduction strategies aimed at saving energy.

MoCA MAC/PHY SPECIFICATION 2.0

  • Protocol author. Specification Working Group Chair: Ron Lee; Specification Working Group Vice-Chair: Avi Kliger; Architecture Working Group Chair Philippe Klein; Technical Working Group Chair: Robert Thompson; Technical Working Group Vice Chair: Stephen Palm on behalf of: Multimedia Over Coax Alliance (MoCA)
  • Protocol version. 2.0

This Multimedia Over Coax Alliance (MoCA) specification provides 1 Gigabit per second “Ethernet” networking using a home’s existing coaxial cabling. The MoCA 2.0 version added sleep and standby low power modes and also allows for a “Wake-up on LAN” feature for both servers and client devices. A MoCA device can be in one of four modes: Active, Low Power Idle, Standby and Sleep, and is able to manage these modes in order to reduce energy consumption, depending on what is required of each device at any particular time.

Energy Efficient Ethernet

  • Protocol author. IEEE 802.3az Task Force
  • Protocol version. Now part of 802.3-2015

Energy Efficient Ethernet (originally IEEE 802.3az but now just part of IEEE 802.3) is a modification of the Ethernet standard which enables the data link to go to sleep when no traffic is ready to send, and wake up as and when required (both very quickly). This modulates power significantly in relation to the amount of traffic sent. Energy Efficient Ethernet has been very widely deployed, particularly in enterprise IT systems using Ethernet.

ECMA-393 “proxZzzy™ for sleeping hosts

  • Protocol author. ECMA International TC38
  • Protocol version. 2nd Edition, 2012

The ECMA 393 standard specifies how “proxying” may be undertaken, to maintain the continuous network presence of a sleeping device, in order to extend a device’s sleep duration. The standard describes elements such as how devices should respond to incoming communications packets, when to ignore certain packets, and when to fully wake the device from sleep. It is mentioned in the Energy Star specifications for small network equipment and for computers.

Competition at a Glance

Today, network-connected electronic devices reach all corners of the world and require near-constant electrical energy to remain connected. Communications between connected devices rely on communications protocols, and these have a significant influence on energy use. The deployment of energy efficient protocols, or in some cases the optional energy efficient aspects within protocol suites, can considerably reduce the energy used for device connectivity.

The Connected Efficiency Award will recognize energy efficient communications protocols and their authors to identify energy efficient protocols in the market, increase their use in mains-powered connected devices, and spur innovation among protocols developers.

Communications protocols (or parts/options within) eligible for the Award are those that are suitable for broad uptake within mains-powered equipment and appliances in the residential and/or commercial building sectors.

To be considered for an Award, applicants must submit a completed application form and supporting documentation via the online system accessible during the nomination period.  

Please see the documents below for more information about the Award. 

Benefits to Applicants

Award recipients will receive the following benefits:

  • Being part of an innovative program that recognizes leading energy efficiency practices in communications protocols
  • Use of the Award to differentiate protocols amongst a vast number of available protocols
  • Promotion by SEAD and its global partner network, achieving significant exposure to industry stakeholders and policymakers

Timeline

The nomination period was open from 24 July to 08 September 2017. Winners were announced on 7 November 2017.

Panel of expert judges

A panel of judges, consisting of independent experts in the field of connected devices, conducted a qualitative, desktop evaluation of each entrant protocol.

  • Abigail Daken. ENERGY STAR Program - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Brian Motherway. Head of Energy Efficiency - International Energy Agency.
  • Carlos Lopes. Swedish Energy Agency.
  • John Carnegie. Executive Director - BusinessNZ Energy Council.
  • Klaus Verschuere. Technical Leader - Cisco.
  • Pierre Gallant. Standards Engineer, Energy Sector - Natural Resources Canada.
  • Rob Singlehurst. Senior Standards Engineer, Energy Sector - Natural Resources Canada.
  • Samuel Thomas. Senior Energy Efficiency Analyst - International Energy Agency.