Forget Advancements In Battery Life — Just Decrease Power Consumption

from the ah,-so-simple... dept

The issue of battery life is a big one in the consumer electronics world — especially for mobile phones. While a lot of research is being done on ways to increase battery life, there is no Moore’s Law for batteries, and real advancements are few and far between. Basically, the more power you pack into a small battery, the more like a bomb it is. It may be possible to pack a super long life battery, but it involves a high risk of exploding — which is something most people prefer to avoid. So, if you can’t extend the power output of a battery, why not work on the next best thing: lowering the power consumption of the device? That’s exactly what some researchers in Canada appear to be doing, as they claim they’ve produced an analog chip that requires only 1/100th the power consumption of existing digital chips. There are a lot of questions this raises — and I wouldn’t expect to see (as the article suggests) phones that only need to be charged once a year any time soon. However, it does point out that there are other ways to approach questions like battery life on devices.

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Comments on “Forget Advancements In Battery Life — Just Decrease Power Consumption”

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Frank says:

jet engines in batteries?

From MIT’s Technology Review magazine (couldn’t find a free link to the entire article, but I read it and it’s fascinating):
D. Freedman. Technology Review, November 2004.
Batteries are heavy and inconvenient. Their successors could be tiny jet engines that provide more than enough power for cell phones and PDAs. It’s a jet engine shrunk to about the size of a coat button that sits on the corner of his desk. Alan Epstein, director of MIT’s Gas Turbine Laboratory, has a jet engine shrunk to about the size of a coat button that sits on the corner of his desk and spins at more than a million revolutions per minute. It is designed to produce enough electricity to power handheld electronics.

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