IEEE Standards Association History

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IEEE Standards Association History

The IEEE-SA's involvement in electrical standards dates back to 1890, when the AIEE (American Institute of Electrical Engineers) proposed a recommendation for the practical unit of self-induction. As a pioneer in voluntary electrical and information technology standards activity, IEEE became a founding member of ANSI (American National Standards Institute) in 1918.

In 1963, when the AIEE merged with the IRE (Institute of Radio Engineers) to form the IEEE, a formal standards body was established to support standards development. Envisioning the expanded role that standards were to play in the future and their impact on industry, IEEE formed its first Standards Board in 1973. As a standards body, the IEEE-SA has responded to changes in the marketplace and as a result, the IEEE-SA of today is quite different and innovative-but still committed to providing the most current, reliable standards knowledge.

In 2009, IEEE-SA was responsible for

866 active standards
28 IEEE Standards Online Subscriptions
Over 15 Handbooks and Special Publications

526 projects in hand
Over 450 technical working groups and committees

Over 10,000 individual IEEE-SA members in 95 countries
Nearly 50 IEEE-SA corporate members

On average, the IEEE-SA publishes 80 new and revised standards annually and conducts over 245 standards projects ballots, in which a combination of approximately 13,000 individuals participate.

Major IEEE standards include:

The IEEE 802® wired and wireless networking standards for telecommunications (e.g., IEEE 802.11™ for local area networks, aka Wi-Fi).
The IEEE 1394™ standard, commonly called Firewire, for the serial buses that connect computer systems and peripherals.
The 12 Color Books, which are industry-proven standards tools for engineers involved in electrical power production, distribution and utilization in commercial and industrial power systems.
The National Electric Safety Code®, which sets electrical construction standards.
IEEE 1512™ standards for efficient communications in managing accidents, planned roadway closures, disasters and other transportation-related events.
Software engineering standards, which are used throughout industry to maximize software development investments.

For additional detail on the history of standards activity in the IEEE and its predecessors, see.

History of  IEEE Standards