A longer battery life is what each smart phone user desires. You must have come across many tips and apps that help elongate the battery life of your mobile device. Even the Li-Ion batteries that have been powering the mobile devices since their existence have improved significantly, hence slimmer phones that can perform all sorts of power hungry operations from playing audio-video files, games, live streaming to prolonged web surfing for a reasonable amount of time.
But, what is required today, keeping in mind the functionality and usage of Smart phones, is some innovative technology that goes beyond the Li-Ion battery and brings something extraordinary that takes the mobile device usage to another level without bothering the users of battery drainage issues. The research in this direction is shaping up and soon battery woes might come to an end.
Two technology feats that might become tangible in the near future seem to be Litium-Imide batteries, being developed by researchers at a California based company called Leyden Energy. Leyden Energy’s Li-Imide technology is capable of delivering 10-25% greater energy density which in simpler terms means longer run-time per charge, longer cycle and calendar life. These batteries are designed to sustain at higher temperatures. What makes me believe that we might soon see the concept in reality is Leyden Energy, Inc., announcement in June this year, that it will be supplying Li-imide batteries for NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 tablet reference design and development platforms which gives enough proof of concept. Benefit: Same form factor of the Li-Ion batteries can be maintained, so manufacturing it will not be a difficult task.
Another notable development that I came across is the solution proposed by Eta Devices Inc. Eta Devices, a Massachusetts based start-up has targeted the Power Amplifier component of the mobile ecosystem to achieve the feat of reduced battery consumption, thereby extending its life. Power amplifier, a piece of hardware that converts electrical signals to radio waves, the means through which your phone communicates with the nearest base station to carry out the task you commanded. Eta Devices has redesigned the amplifier circuitry of Mobile Base Station to reduce power consumption by half. The technology might be seen in LTE base stations as early as Q1 of 2013. The same solution can be scaled down to smaller chips, which can be housed in the mobile devices to bring down the mobile communication power consumption by almost 50%, prolonging the phone battery life. Benefit: This technology clubbed with improved battery can do wonders for the end users.
Some research is also being done on Lithium-Ion Batteries itself to make them better and might be available in a year or two.
K2 Energy Solutions, a Nevada based battery-research company, is working on Lithium-Iron Phosphate batteries, which has a higher energy density and a shelf life of more than 3 years, which is much safer, greener and powerful. The area of improvement for this realm of research is compactness of the battery as it occupies more space. The technology already appears in electric cars but bringing the size down to fit into a mobile device might take a year or two. Benefit: Greener and Safer.
Prieto Battery is working on a solid state, 3D Li-Ion batteries that can be fully charged in minutes, last longer, is more powerful and safer as compared to traditional Li-ion batteries. Benefit: Short Charging Times
Since the batteries are still not out in the market, I am not too sure on the cost front. But for the concept to be adopted by large scale mobile devices it should be cheaper or comparable with the existing battery prices. But one thing is for sure that mobile battery evolution will take the mobile phone usage to another level which would be much more greener and safer. Image Source [iphonefaq.org]