Nokia Bell Labs, which is a subsidiary of Nokia, has teamed up with Advanced Materials and BioEngineering Research (AMBER) to come with a new formula for battery composition to increase battery life without increasing the size of the cell.
At an event that was hosted at Trinity College Dublin, the two research firms announced that their innovative design makes it possible to cram in 2.5 times the battery life than what other solutions in the market offer.
Given that the world is gearing up for 5G, battery life will become increasingly more important. In the recent past, there have been no notable breakthroughs in battery technology but seems like Nokia Bell Labs and AMBER have finally cracked the code, just in time for the arrival of the next generation of wireless networks. 5G is also expected to power a new era of the Internet of Things (IoT), which means gadgets will be increasingly be connected, which makes battery life all the more important.
The best part about the new technology is that it would more than double the battery life of phones without making them heavier. As Nokia Bell Labs' Paul King said, packing in more energy into smaller space will have a huge impact on 5G.
The new design will also have other applications. For instance, it can come in handy for improving the performance of renewable energy grids. It can also be used to power the industrial internet of things (IIoT), drones, and electric vehicles.
The researchers have filed a patent to protect their design and it might be licensed out for commercial use soon. However, a Nokia representative has said that the company doesn't have any specific time frame in mind. So, it's hard to guess when we will get to see the technology in the flesh.
In recent years, smartphones have become more of minicomputers, replacing many other devices such as cameras and to some extents, even laptops. However, up until now, the battery technology had failed to keep up. Most vendors were instead concentrating on fast charging solutions, allowing users to replenish their batteries in a shorter time period.
Most smartphones in the market pack in lithium ion or lithium polymer batteries, but they have a shorter lifespan because of their limited recharge cycles and overheating issues.
Quite recently, the Israeli company StoreDot had promised to release smartphone batteries that can be fully charged in just five minutes by the second half of next year. The company is creating a new generation of lithium-ion batteries that will not use graphite. Basically, graphite isn't a great choice for charging devices quickly. The firm will instead use germanium, silicon, and tin with iron compounds, which is claims are better for juicing up lithium-ion batteries.
In the near future, we can also expect other companies to announce new battery designs of their own and kick start a new era of development in the battery industry. This might also prompt handset makers to come out with compact phones, as one of the reasons there is a dearth of small handsets in the market is the lack of advancement in battery technology.