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What is the difference between IEC 62368 and 60950?

Title: Understanding the Differences between IEC 62368 and 60950 Safety Standards


Safety standards play a pivotal role in ensuring that electrical and electronic products adhere to strict guidelines, providing consumers with confidence in their safety and reliability. Two widely recognized standards, IEC 62368 and IEC 60950, are specifically designed to address safety considerations for information technology (IT) and audiovisual (AV) equipment. This article aims to shed light on the key differences between these two standards, highlighting their respective scopes, focuses, and application areas.

IEC 62368: Future-Proofing Safety for AV and IT Equipment

IEC 62368 is a groundbreaking safety standard that represents a significant shift from traditional safety standards. It is often referred to as the "Audio/Video and IT Equipment Standard." As a more recent standard, IEC 62368 introduces an innovative approach to product safety, focusing on hazard-based performance and risk assessment.

Scope and Application

IEC 62368 applies to a wide range of audiovisual and information technology equipment, including devices like televisions, displays, audio systems, IT servers, routers, and other similar products. It is intended for newly developed products as well as those undergoing redesign or upgrade.

Key Differences

1. Approach: While IEC 60950 (originally designed for IT equipment) follows a prescriptive approach, specifying requirements and tests for specific safety measures, IEC 62368 adopts a hazard-based safety engineering (HBSE) approach. It emphasizes identifying potential hazards associated with a product, evaluating their risks, and implementing appropriate safety measures to mitigate those risks.

2. Risk Assessment: IEC 62368 places a greater emphasis on risk assessment and risk management compared to IEC 60950. It aims to address potential hazards and determine the likelihood of risks occurring, enabling manufacturers to make informed decisions regarding safety measures and product design.

3. Forward Compatibility: Unlike IEC 60950, IEC 62368 is forward-compatible. This means that the standard takes into account emerging technologies and potential future risks, making it more adaptable and allowing for the incorporation of new features and functionalities.

IEC 60950: Legacy Standard for IT Equipment Safety

IEC 60950, also known as the "Safety of Information Technology Equipment Standard," has been widely recognized and implemented worldwide. Originally developed for IT equipment, IEC 60950 has been adopted for various products, including computers, servers, and network equipment. It focuses on ensuring the safety of products during their intended use.

Scope and Application

IEC 60950 applies to information technology and telecommunication equipment, including products used in office environments, data centers, and network infrastructures. It sets out specific safety requirements and tests related to electrical, thermal, mechanical, radiation, and fire hazards.

Key Differences

1. Scope: IEC 60950 has a narrower scope, primarily focusing on IT equipment and associated products, whereas IEC 62368 encompasses a broader range of AV and IT equipment.

2. Prescriptive Approach: IEC 60950 follows a more traditional prescriptive approach, providing specific requirements and criteria for different safety aspects. It sets out specific tests to be conducted and limits to be met.

3. Limited Forward Compatibility: Unlike IEC 62368, IEC 60950 does not incorporate forward compatibility, which means it may not fully accommodate emerging technologies or potential future risks. As new technologies emerge, adherence to IEC 62368 becomes increasingly essential.


Both IEC 62368 and IEC 60950 are significant safety standards in the realm of AV and IT equipment. While IEC 60950 has been the long-standing standard for IT equipment safety, IEC 62368 introduces a hazard-based approach and focuses on future compatibility and risk assessment. Manufacturers must be aware of these distinctions to ensure compliance with the appropriate standard for their specific products, ultimately fostering consumer confidence in the safety and reliability of AV and IT equipment in an ever-evolving technological landscape.



Contact: Eason Wang

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