Lithium-ion Battery Life Breakthrough

Battery breakthrough using crushed silicon could triple the power in our gadgets

By on November 6, 2012 at 7:42 PM.

Battery breakthrough using crushed silicon could triple the power in our gadgets

As nice as razor-thin gadgets with incredibly dense screens are, battery tech hasn’t really evolved much in the last decade. While software optimizations can be made to help manage power consumption on today’s Internet-connected devices, very few smartphones, tablets and computers can go days on end without needing a charge. Early last week, a startup claimed it could double smartphone battery life and now a new breakthrough by researchers at Rice University has announced it’s figured out how to triple lithium-ion battery life using crushed silicon anode. More →

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Meet the new spray-on battery that comes in a can

By on July 4, 2012 at 3:35 PM.

Meet the new spray-on battery that comes in a can

Spray-On Battery Developed

Scientific American reports that a team of scientists from Rice University in Houston and the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium have been working on a “spray-on” battery that’s deployed through an aerosol can. Although the idea has a vague “They called me mad, mad!” sound to it, Scientific American says that the invention could conceivably transform any surface into a potential energy storage device. The magazine says the spray is layered like most batteries with “a positive current collector, a cathode that attracts positively charged ions, an ion-conducting separator, an anode to attract negative ions, and a negative current collector.” Team member Neelam Singh says that the technology he’s helping to develop could even lead to “paint-on solar cells” that could transform entire houses into “solar-energy capture-and-storage devices.” More →

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Chrysler announces industry-first in-vehicle wireless charging system

By on April 9, 2012 at 9:20 PM.

Chrysler announces industry-first in-vehicle wireless charging system

Chrysler’s Mopar division plans to become the first car manufacturer to eliminate power cords from cars. The company on Monday announced its new in-vehicle wireless charging technology, which will be available in the 2013 Dodge Dart. “At Mopar, we look for every single opportunity to make our customers’ lives easier,”said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand. Our industry-first in-vehicle wireless charging system is the perfect solution for those connected customers who are always on the go.” The wireless charging system is installed just below the center stack and in front of the center console. The unit features a built-in charging grid that is activated when a user places their iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, or compatible MP3 player on it, and will begin to charge when the vehicle is started. As with other wireless charging options, a separate phone case will be required. The in-vehicle wireless charging system will be available for $199.99 plus installation, and the 2013 Dodge Dart is scheduled to be available in the second quarter of 2012. Read on for Chrysler’s press release. More →

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Leaked iPad 3 parts suggest larger battery, 4G LTE, and Retina Display in same form factor as iPad 2

By on February 8, 2012 at 4:40 PM.

Leaked iPad 3 parts suggest larger battery, 4G LTE, and Retina Display in same form factor as iPad 2

The next-generation iPad will feature a larger battery and a new camera, according to RepairLabs. The website obtained what it claims to be the rear shell of the upcoming iPad 3 from an industry insider in China. After examining the shell and comparing it to an iPad 2 case, RepairLabs noticed the mounts for the logic board were quite different, meaning the board itself will likely be a different shape. The rear case also apparently reveals that the iPad 3 will include a larger battery pack, in line with earlier rumors. The device is also expected to have a “different camera” as well, and the site suggests the front display will also be new. There has been speculation that the next-generation iPad would be slightly thicker, but the site claims that could be false after examining the rear case. Apple is expected to unveil the iPad 3 next month. More →

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Another Nokia Lumia 800 battery update coming in two weeks

By on January 19, 2012 at 12:30 AM.

Another Nokia Lumia 800 battery update coming in two weeks

Nokia said on Twitter Wednesday that a second software update will roll out to Lumia 800 devices over the next two weeks. It is largely expected that the update will help fix the poor battery life that has plagued some, but not all, Lumia 800 users. Nokia has already addressed the battery issue, which limits the capacity of the battery, and has even recommended that those with the problem send their devices in for replacement phones. More →

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Samsung promises all-day battery life from new smartphones in 2012

By on January 17, 2012 at 2:50 PM.

Samsung promises all-day battery life from new smartphones in 2012

Samsung understands that battery life is a big problem when it comes to smartphones. The company is looking to fix that, however, promising that all Samsung smartphones coming out this year will last all day on a single charge with average to moderately heavy use. “When you wake up to when you go to bed, we don’t want you feeling anxiety about your battery life,” Samsung VP of product innovation Kevin Packingham said in an interview with CNET. Motorola recently announced the DROID RAZR MAXX, a variant of the DROID RAZR featuring a massive 3,300 mAh battery. Samsung will also move to larger batteries, though the company plans to focus on optimizing different aspects of the phone as well, according to Packingham. The changes will come from the way a phone acts when searching for Wi-Fi, to the way it connects to 4G LTE networks. Packingham acknowledged that Samsung “wasn’t quite there yet,” in regards to the company’s first 4G LTE smartphone, the DROID Charge. Despite these upcoming improvements, Packingham noted that power users will always face problems with battery life. More →

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Next-gen iPad may feature double the battery capacity of iPad 2

By on December 29, 2011 at 4:40 PM.

Next-gen iPad may feature double the battery capacity of iPad 2

Apple will launch a new high-end iPad model in early 2012 featuring a battery that includes more than twice the capacity of the current iPad 2 battery. Citing anonymous sources from within Apple’s supply chain, DigiTimes recently reported that Apple’s upcoming next-generation flagship iPad will feature a new 14,000 mAh battery, as will a new mid-range iPad model. The new power pack will feature more than twice the capacity of the 6,500 mAh battery currently used in Apple’s iPad 2. DigiTimes also reported late Wednesday that Apple’s 2012 iPad lineup will include three models: a low-end iPad 2, likely available at a discount compared to current pricing, a mid-range next-generation iPad and a high-end model. The new mid-range and high-end models will also reportedly feature an upgraded 2,048 x 1,536-pixel displays with dual-LED backlighting. More →

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Nokia to issue Lumia 800 battery fix early next year

By on December 19, 2011 at 10:00 PM.

Nokia to issue Lumia 800 battery fix early next year

Nokia’s European support team has issued an official statement to those who have a Lumia 800 with poor battery life. “We immediately started to investigate these reports and can now confirm that while the battery itself is fine, a software problem on certain variants is limiting the phone’s ability to access the full battery capacity,” a Nokia representative wrote on the support forums Monday. Michael explained that the battery life issues are only the result of a software flaw and, as such, Lumia 800 owners can expect a software patch that fixes the problem early next year. Lumia 800 users who do not want to wait that long can contact Nokia and request a replacement handset. Hit the break for Nokia’s explanation of how to find out whether or not your Lumia 800 is affected by the bug. More →

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Batteries that charge 10x faster and last 10x longer just 5-years out, scientists say

By on November 17, 2011 at 1:20 AM.

Batteries that charge 10x faster and last 10x longer just 5-years out, scientists say

Fat battery pack accessories may soon be a thing of the past. Scientists at Northwestern University are tweaking lithium-ion batteries to last 10 times longer and charge 10 times faster than the battery technology used today, BBC reported recently. Better yet, the new tech could be on the market in just 5 years. Oddly enough, it appears that poking “millions of minuscule holes” that are just 20-40 nanometers wide, and changing the movement and density of lithium ion cells, helps to add battery life and speed up the charging process. A prototype phone battery in Northwestern’s labs can be fully charged in just 15 minutes and it lasts an entire week on a single charge, BBC said. Dr. Harold Kung, the lead scientist on the project, explained that the speed and density of lithium ions can be changed using different materials during the battery’s manufacturing process. “Even after 150 charges, which would be one year or more of operation, the battery is still five times more effective than lithium-ion batteries on the market today,” Dr. Kung said. Unfortunately, battery life begins to decline quickly after about 150 charges with the technology in its current state.  More →

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Apple seeds iOS 5.0.1 beta to end users to test battery life improvements

By on November 8, 2011 at 10:05 PM.

Apple seeds iOS 5.0.1 beta to end users to test battery life improvements

Apple has already released two beta versions of its iOS 5.0.1 software to developers, but now it is beginning to seed the software update to several end users through AppleSeed as well. The update is expected to offer improvements to the Siri voice engine and should address issues many users have been having with battery life. Participants who choose to test the new iOS build will not be able to revert to an earlier version after upgrading, but they will be able to upgrade to the final patch when Apple releases it in the next few weeks. Read on for more. More →

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iPhone 4S battery drain could be result of time zone bug

By on October 31, 2011 at 5:05 PM.

iPhone 4S battery drain could be result of time zone bug

We have seen a number of reports suggesting that the Apple iPhone 4S has a software bug that has resulted in poor battery life. iDownloadBlog says that adjusting the time zone settings on the iPhone might help alleviate the issue. Reportedly, a bug within iOS 5 forces the phone’s location tracking feature to remain active far more than it should, which in turn drains the phone’s battery too quickly. Users can manually turn off the automatic time zone setting by navigating to Settings > General > Date & Time and toggling “Set Automatically” to “Off.” Other users, however, have suggested that the time zone function has nothing to do with the poor battery life, which has left some people fighting to squeeze more than just a few hours of battery life from their iPhone. Apple has yet to release an official patch to address those with poor battery performance, but we suggest adjusting your time zone settings to see if that helps in the meantime. In our independent tests, we’ve found that disabling the setting does improve battery life to some degree, though none of our units were as bad as many users are reporting even with the setting enabled. More →

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iFixit reveals inner workings of iPhone 4S in new teardown

By on October 13, 2011 at 7:30 PM.

iFixit reveals inner workings of iPhone 4S in new teardown

The crew at iFixit has given the iPhone 4S its proper tear-down, revealing the phone’s inner workings and hardware. iFixit noticed that the battery offers an extra 0.5 WHrs over the one found in the iPhone 4, which is likely the reason Apple is able to advertise an additional 1-hour of 3G talk time on the iPhone 4S compared to its predecessor. The phone is equipped with a Qualcomm RTR8605 radio, an Avago ACPM-7181 power amplifier and of course a dual-core 1GHz Apple A5 processor, which has been downclocked to 800MHz. Be sure to hit the jump for a few more images of the iPhone 4S teardown. Deliveries of Apple’s new smartphone begin on Friday, and in the meantime be sure to check out our hands-on with the iPhone 4S. More →

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Details on new battery suggest thinner, lighter iPad 3 design

By on September 6, 2011 at 2:30 PM.

Details on new battery suggest thinner, lighter iPad 3 design

Apple has secured Simplo Technology Co. and Dynapack International Technology Corp. to supply battery packs for the vendor’s upcoming iPad 3 tablet, Taiwan Economic News reported on Tuesday. According to the report, the new batteries will be thinner and lighter than the modules used in Apple’s current iPad 2 models, and Apple’s cost for the power packs will apparently jump by between 20% and 30% as a result. The report also states that Apple’s new iPad 3 batteries will feature a longer service life than the previous-generation packs used in the iPad 2. A thinner, lighter battery could mean Apple is conserving space for a new beefier Retina Display, or it could mean Apple is slimming down the iPad 3 case from the iPad 2’s already-svelte 0.34-inch-thick profile. Apple is expected to launch the iPad 3 early next year. More →

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