Verizon asks equipment manufacturers to get the heat out


Baltimore, Md. — Starting in July 2010, Verizon is requiring hardware manufacturers to use thermal modeling when designing circuit boards and cabinets used in network gear in order to increase the operating efficiency of its networks.

Thermal modeling involves using a computer to simulate the heat flow around electrical components in equipment such as circuit boards, before the equipment is built, as a way to minimize heat generation, which improves energy efficiency, and saves time and costs, said Verizon.

“Starting in July 2010, equipment makers will be required to submit results of thermal modeling applied to their hardware that show they have optimized their circuits to generate less heat and perform more efficiently,” said Chuck Graff, Verizon director of corporate network and technology, in a statement.

The new Technical Purchasing Requirement outlines the goal of the testing program, details test procedures to be conducted, and establishes a process for review of the results and approval of the equipment design.

The requirement was published this week during the 15th annual Verizon NEBS conference, “Optimization of Telecom Networks Through Energy Efficiency.”

Graff said at the conference that Verizon operates in 150 countries, occupies 31,000 facilities worldwide, maintains a 53,000-vehicle fleet and consumed 9.5 billion kilowatt hours of electricity and 59 million gallons of fuel in 2008. During that year, the company reduced its carbon emissions by 303,000 metric tons.

“With this new testing standard, we’re taking another important step toward savings in the carbon footprint and the expense of running the network,” Graff said.

In January, Verizon implemented purchasing rules requiring that new equipment purchased for deployment in the company’s networks operate at a level 20 percent more efficient than the equipment it replaces.

The new thermal-management requirement is to help equipment meet the 20-percent improvement goal, stated Graff. “Circuit boards can work fine when they are generating more heat than necessary, but they work better and save operating costs when you pay attention to heat issues up front. That’s the goal here,” he said.

The benefits to Verizon are cooler operating temperatures, faster deployment because thermal issues are addressed earlier in the process, and lower costs for air conditioning.

Verizon also said the new testing process benefits OEMs as well, saving them time and costs in the creation of prototypes, thus shortening the time it takes to develop equipment that is ready for sale.