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New battery standard emerges

The IEEE Standards Association on Thursday announced that the first full draft of a new standard for mobile computer batteries has been completed and that the group is now circulating the draft for comment among the companies that created it. The standard--IEEE P1625 Standard for Rechargeable Batteries for Mobile Computers--attempts to look at the notebook as a whole to improve battery reliability and performance. The standard is targeted for completion in the first half of 2004.

Batteries remain one of the major areas of concern for manufacturers. Although processors and other parts have continually been improved, batteries historically have not. The advent of wireless technology has put further impetus on extending the time batteries can go on a single charge. Eighteen companies make up the IEEE 1625 Working Group, including Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Motorola.