One such piece of regulatory legislation affecting power solutions is the IEC 62368-1 safety standard certificate. This affects power supplies contained within or packaged with electronic devices across a variety of industry segments.

Three key features drive market acceptance and the success of embedded and external power supplies: size, cost, and certification compliance.

Typically, size and cost are key features in power supply selection. However, uninterrupted certification compliance is perhaps the most important long term consideration. This is because power supply efficiency and safety standards are in a perpetual state of evolution.

What is the IEC 62368-1 standard?

IEC 62368-1 is a new industry standard put in place by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) meant for informational technology equipment (ITE) and audio/video equipment. This is a hazard-based standard that requires products to have proven safeguards that protect end-users from any potential transfer of energy that can cause harm (pain or injury) to that user.

What standards does IEC 62368-1 replace?

IEC 62368-1 will be the new safety standard that replaces two existing standards, IEC 60950-1 and IEC 60065.

When will IEC 62368-1 take effect?

The effective date of IEC 62368-1 will be December 20, 2020.

Who needs to know about IEC 62368-1?

Companies, like hardware organizations, that purchase power supplies for their product should be aware of the new standard. The current power supply will either need to be certified or the organization will need to source and qualify a 62368-1 certified model. Both options require significant time that could range from 6 to 20 weeks to complete.

Power supply manufacturers also need to be aware of the new standard. They will need to ensure that their product offerings conform to the hazard-base safety engineering (HBSE) principles of the standard. These manufacturers may need to redesign their products to be in compliance which also requires recertification and new global safety testing of the power supply.

How to prepare for IEC 62368-1

If you are a hardware organization that purchases power supplies, first discuss with your manufacturer about your current power supply. If your manufacturer is proactive to industry standards, your current power supply may already be certified. If not, you will need to look at getting that power supply certified, which is a long and costly process. 

The best option to prepare for IEC 62368-1 is to source and qualify an already-certified power supply

If your power supply is external facing (wall adapter or desktop adapter) and you need to use a new model to conform to the new standards, be aware of additional items beyond the power supply that will also have change. These items include packaging, product manuals, and marketing collateral. 

The importance of the new standard

Any injury incurred by a product is awful for the person involved. It can also cause a bad reputation for the product and its company. The new IEC 62368-1 standard is important in that it requires better safeguards to reduce injury to those using the equipment.

Following standards set by technical committees and organizations like the IEC allows the product to maintain a level of high quality. Additionally, it ensures the end-user is able to safely use the device. Keep ahead of regulatory changes and confirm that your product is in compliance with the IEC 62368-1 standard today.

Additional Links

IEC Website Publication: IEC 62368-1:2018

Date first published: 27 Jan 2020