D-link has announced Ethernet desktop switches that, it claims, use up to 44 percent less power than existing 5-port switches. It said it was the first company to bring such green Ethernet switches to the market.

The power saving is accomplished in two ways. First, the new switches measure when PCs connected to them are turned off and then power down into standby mode. Secondly, they analyse cable lengths and can adjust power usage for different cable lengths accordingly. Most existing switches are powered up to support 100m cable lengths all the time, but many small systems use only 5-10m of cable.

D-Link says it is tuned into the green zeitgeist with Osbert Ong, its European product manager saying: "D-Link recognises the significant market demand for energy-efficient networking products and is leading the initiative in making Green Ethernet a reality for the home and SME user."

Concerning larger businesses he said: "D-Link’s Green Ethernet solutions will enable them to reduce their carbon footprint.”

The IEEE standards body has an energy-efficient Ethernet study group, known as 802.3 A ratified standard is not expected for a couple of years or more and D-Link has introduced its products well before this. D-Link does not appear to be involved with this standards effort.

D-Link will deliver Green Ethernet switches across its range of desktop, smart and xStack managed switches. All of the company's sub-24 port desktop switches will be green by the end of 2007. The smart and managed switches will evolve to Green Ethernet products through 2008.