Shin-Etsu Chemical eyes 10X boost in smartphone battery life

Shin-Etsu Chemical plans to begin mass production, in three to four years, of material that would enable one-week battery life.

Imagine getting a week's worth of battery life out of one charge.  That's what Japan's Shin-Etsu Chemical is intimating.
Imagine getting a week's worth of battery life out of one charge. That's what Japan's Shin-Etsu Chemical is intimating. Samsung

Shin-Etsu Chemical thinks new material it has developed could boost battery life by tenfold. Needless to say, even if the company achieved a fraction of that, it would be groundbreaking.

The new development replaces traditional carbon-based material in lithium-ion batteries with silicon, according to a report in the Japanese-language version of Nikkei -- which didn't provide much detail about the technology.

Though the cost is higher than carbon-based materials, the expected tenfold increase in battery life would -- theoretically -- effectively obviate the need to frequently re-charge smartphones, Nikkei said.

The material would have applications to electric car batteries too.

Shin-Etsu has begun shipping samples to domestic and foreign battery makers and plans to have a facility for trial manufacturing of the material by 2014.

Commercial mass production is targeted in three to four years.

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About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

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