Panasonic boosts Li-Ion power

Panasonic boosts Li-Ion power

Panasonic's new power cell design promises up to 30 percent more capacity - but isn't due for mass production until 2013.

New battery technology from Panasonic holds the promise of future Lithium-Ion cells that can provide significantly more power than is currently possible.

As reported over on Gizmodo, the company has announced a new 18650-type lithium ion power cell - so called owing to its 18mm diameter and 65mm height - which offers an industry leading capacity of 3.5Ah. As if this wasn't good enough news, the company has also promised that a move to a silicon-based alloy for the negative electrode - in place of the currently used carbon - will allow the technology to stretch to 4.0Ah.

Designed for use primarily in laptop battery packs, the high-capacity power cells will also likely find a home in electric and hybrid-power vehicles where their impressively high energy density will help to increase the range while decreasing the cost associated with such vehicles.

With Panasonic's current range of power cells offering 2.9Ah, the 4.0Ah promises a thirty percent boost in capacity - meaning increased longevity of about a third for lithium-ion powered devices including laptops and netbooks.

As both improved power cell designs involve little more than an improved negative electrode composition, Panasonic's latest cells promise full compatibility with existing lithium-ion systems - meaning that drop-in replacements for worn-out batteries are more than likely.

All this good news must, inevitably, be tempered by the bad: although the cells have been produced in small quantities for testing purposes, Panasonic isn't planning to mass-produced them until around the middle of 2012 for the 3.5Ah and year after for the 4.0Ah models.

Does this improvement in lithium-ion technology fill you with hope for multi-day battery life in your netbook, or should Panasonic be concentrating on more esoteric solutions? Share your thoughts over in the forums.


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mjm25 31st December 2009, 16:27 Quote
surely by that time its just keeping up with increased power draw from more powerful devices, so the increased longevity will be offset by higher draw... altho small manufacturing processes on the whole might be reducing power consumption.... i dunno!

we need a boffin to step in here. Nexxo i choose you!
Veles 31st December 2009, 17:15 Quote
Depends on the device though, the more recent trend (ignoring GFX cards) has been to cut down power consumption.
RichCreedy 31st December 2009, 19:36 Quote
ahh but even graphics cards are starting to use less power but give more grunt (ati radeon 57/5800 series)
Yemerich 31st December 2009, 19:56 Quote
No one told them that the world will end in 2012?
Joeymac 1st January 2010, 02:41 Quote
I wish it were 2013 already. I don't think I can take another 3 years of "end of the world" related jokes/comments.
Malvolio 1st January 2010, 04:05 Quote
Originally Posted by Joeymac
I wish it were 2013 already. I don't think I can take another 3 years of "end of the world" related jokes/comments.

Oh don't worry, it'll all be over soon enough.

(did you get it?)
dicobalt 1st January 2010, 13:53 Quote
So... how long till they start exploding?
AcidJiles 1st January 2010, 16:23 Quote
so in 3 years they dont expect there to be a new and better technology?
friskies 1st January 2010, 16:28 Quote
I bet there is some kind of drawback, long charge time, fire hazard or that they loose capacity after some charge cycles
friskies 1st January 2010, 16:29 Quote
Or maybe they just cause the end of the world
Farfalho 1st January 2010, 18:24 Quote
Pretty sure we have done by ourselves, so proud... not
K.I.T.T. 2nd January 2010, 20:05 Quote
so, are these supposed to be better than A-123 cells? (Lithium phosphate)
mattbailey 3rd January 2010, 10:00 Quote
Surely, with the end of the world being nigh, we could just revert to a cheap failsafe - hamsters in running wheels!
koola 3rd January 2010, 13:02 Quote
I bet in 2013 most things will be 30% more efficient thus negating any Li-ion advancements ahah
l3v1ck 3rd January 2010, 16:19 Quote
Does this improvement in lithium-ion technology fill you with hope for multi-day battery life in your netbook?
No. I don't care about days without charging as I can always plug it in over night. What I want to see is a ten hour life under intensive use (eight hours work, plus a one hour commute each way).
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