More battery tech news and research.

Posted on 08 October 2006 by

I’ve just read an interesting news item on Panasonic NNP battery technology which has lead me to do a bit of study on current Li-iOn battery tech this afternoon. (Original news item here in German)

Apparently Panasonic presented an improved battery technology at the IDF that could help mobile devices within the next 2 years. I’ve read a lot of articles about new battery technology and most seem to be presenting completely new techniques and chemistry. The problem with changing the technology is that the cost of moving to the new tech is way too high. Production lines cost millions but the new Panasonic battery appears to enhance the Li-Ion technology that’s already used which means changes could be built into existing production lines.

The new process is called NNP (Nickel based New Platform) and it provides 12% more capacity. 12% isn’t really much but its a good step forward. The more interesting part or the story is that Panasonic have flattened the discharge curve so that the useable part extends by an extra 20%. If this is combined with devices that operate down to lower voltages, then the battery life can be extended by another 20%.

What I’m seeing through reading white papers and data sheets is that most ultra mobile PC devices (except Q1 range) are using cheaper 2200mah Li-ion batteries (3 of the 18650 type cells in series to provide 11.1v) so the advantages of moving to leading-edge technology would be much much greater the planned 3000mah cells along with the Panasonic NNP advantages on top would nearly double the original battery life from 24000mwh to 40000mwh. If you add savings that could be made on Wifi modules (est 1.5W saving), HDD tech (0.5W by switching to Flash) and screen technology (2-3W by switching to LED backlighting) you reach an average 7-8W drain under normal (Wifi On) usage.

That’s 5 hours normal battery life possible on top-end devices. Isn’t that what’s claimed for the new Samsung Q1b? Maybe Samsung already did it!

Incidentaly, why haven’t we seen an Intel Centrino based ultra mobile PC yet? Are the Wifi modules too expensive or is it just that designers like the cheap and easy method of soldering USB modules on all over the place? My i7210 has 4 built-in USB modules and another on the dock. (Touchscreen, Wifi, Bluetooth, WebCam and Ethernet – yes Ethernet over USB.)

Steve / Chippy.

A lot of the info above was gleaned from the Rose Batteries website. Its worth a browse if you have any interest in the subject.

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