Hardware could also be used to power the likes of electric cars in the future
Leaky smartphone batteries could soon be a thing of the past following the unveiling of a new hardware invention that promises super fast recharging.
Professor Rachid Yazami from Nanyang Technological University says that he has developed a chip for smartphones that can greatly decrease the time needed to full charge up the battery, as well as offered safety improvements.
Professor Yazami, who back in the 1980s was one of the creators of the lithium-ion battery that now powers many electrical devices today, says his chip could cut recharging times down to ten minutes and increase battery life as well as decrease the risk of battery fires.
The chip is able to offer such improvements in speed and performance thanks to its tiny size, which means it can be embedded straight into a smartphone’s processor.
From there, it can use an algorithm developed by Yazami (pictured left) to calculate the exact amount of charge left in the battery by measuring its voltage and temperature. This would then directly be sent to another sensor chip embedded in the charger itself, allowing for faster, optimised charging.
Yazami’s algorithm is also able to analyse both the health of the battery and its state of charge through a 3D chart, highlighting where overheating risks can happen, and hopefully cutting down on the risk of fires.
“Although the risk of a battery failing and catching fire is very low, with the billions of lithium-ion batteries being produced yearly, even a one-in-a-million chance would mean over a thousand failures,” Yazami explained.
“This poses a serious risk for electric vehicles and even in advanced aeroplanes as big battery packs have hundreds of cells or more bundled together to power the vehicle or aircraft. If there is a chemical fire caused by a single failed battery, it could cause fires in nearby batteries, leading to an explosion.”
Currently, lithium-ion batteries are charged by having electrical power gradually fed into them in tiny amounts in order to prevent them from overheating, meaning that the process often takes longer than necessary.
Looking forward, Professor Yazami says that he is hoping other technological sectors begin using his chip, claiming that it has gained the interest of the likes of Sony, Sanyo and Samsung as well as car maker Tesla.
“My vision for the future is that every battery will have this chip, which will in turn reduce the risk of battery fires in electronic devices and electric vehicles while extending their life span,” he said.
The news is the second boost for smartphone owners relating to device performance in recent weeks, as battery life becomes an important consideration for many consumers.
Earlier this month, Chinese manufacturer Huawei said it had developed smartphone battery technology including new lithium-ion batteries that can reach 50 percent capacity in a matter of minutes, as well as offering a charging speed ten times faster than at present.
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