battery Stories January 14, 2016

The 2011 purchase of Motorola was mostly a means by Google to get approximately 17,000 patents in order to defend themselves from the numerous lawsuits that were occurring at the time. However, things have significantly quieted down on the legal front and Google is now auctioning some battery-related patents from the purchase.

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battery Stories December 29, 2015

Hitachi’s new tech could double your smartphone’s battery capacity without increasing size

Hitachi Maxell has developed a new lithium-ion battery which could increase a portable product’s capacity without increasing its battery’s thickness. In fact, it has twice the capacity of its current technology, thanks to a newly developed silicon-based material used as the battery’s negative electrode.

The new technology, named ULSiON, uses a composite material made by coating the surface of its Silicon-based layer with carbon. Although typical silicon-based negative electrode layers tend to expand and contract, causing swollen batteries, the new technology reduces that risk significantly by using fine silicon particles.

Using the ULSiON technology, Hitachi will be able to make batteries that are really small, but don’t sacrifice capacity.

“(By using the new material,) we will realize compact lithium-ion batteries that have a width of 13mm or less and an energy density twice as high as that of the existing product of the same size,” the company said.

In practice, this could mean smartphone makers can continue to make slim devices with small, but powerful batteries. Perhaps more importantly, the ability to make small batteries with high capacity is ideal for the rising demand for wearable technology. Smartwatches with 2-day battery life could potentially be much smaller and thinner. Or even better, smartwatches could retain their current thickness and have 4-5 day battery life.

Hitachi expects that the ULSiON-based Li-on batteries will be used in compact devices, like wearables. It also expects demand for this technology to be in high since space is a premium, but long battery life is ideal, and current batteries don’t quite cut it.

Hitachi Maxell will show off its new battery tech at the 2nd Wearable Expo in Tokyo between January 13-15.

battery Stories November 13, 2015

Smartphones are in a golden age of fast charging with Qualcomm’s Quick Charge technology being adopted by various manufacturers (and with the latest Nexus phones having fast charging via USB Type-C). Now, Chinese OEM Huawei (which has been gaining speed recently with the Huawei Watch and the Nexus 6P) has announced new quick charging lithium-ion batteries of their own at a conference in Japan. expand full story

Deal: Get Pixelbook at 25% off: $750!

battery Stories July 31, 2015

If you bought an NVIDIA SIELD tablet at any point between now and a year ago, you might want to take note: NVIDIA is voluntarily recalling all of these devices due to a problem with the battery which can cause it to overheat and potentially catch fire… expand full story

battery Stories June 29, 2015

According to a report from Korea Times, LG Chem, the largest chemical company in South Korea, has begun shipping a new hexagonal battery to top-tier smartwatch makers. The new battery, which sports a design that allows it to cover more surface area — specifically within circular smartwatches — reportedly improves battery capacity as much as 25% compared to traditional rectangular batteries… expand full story

battery Stories June 26, 2015

Samsung’s research team has found a way to effectively almost double the capacity of its lithium ion batteries, according to a report from Business Korea. Specifically, the research arm of the company has supposedly developed a technology to make a new “silicon cathode material” for coating the graphene of the battery’s silicon surface, which allows it to support new levels of energy density — up to twice that of currently-available batteries.

You can read the details of the technology at Nature.com:

The graphene layers anchored onto the silicon surface accommodate the volume expansion of silicon via a sliding process between adjacent graphene layers. When paired with a commercial lithium cobalt oxide cathode, the silicon carbide-free graphene coating allows the full cell to reach volumetric energy densities of 972 and 700Whl−1 at first and 200th cycle, respectively, 1.8 and 1.5 times higher than those of current commercial lithium-ion batteries.

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