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Mobile multimedia ushers in futuristic fuel-cell power

June 8th, 2006 · No Comments


The evolution of mobile phones into multimedia devices will usher in a new generation of portable battery power, based on long-lasting Methanol technology. So says Japanese telecoms giant NTT DoCoMo, which plans on being amongst the first to market fuel cell powered products as early as 2007.
Along with partner Fujitsu, it claims that its upcoming fuel cells will quadruple the running time of standard lithium-ion and lithium polymer batteries, and reduce the strain imposed by mobile multimedia usage.
Currently, a mobile phone will only run for around four hours when used to display video or receive TV broadcasts. When a fuel cell is exhausted, users would buy a new cartridge which would be used to replenish the depleted battery.
Korean rival Samsung says it is not far behind in timescale, and will show conceptual fuel cell products later this year, after inking a deal with US-based firm MTI MicroFuel Cells, to develop the technology. Prior to the Samsung deal, MTI developed a proprietary fuel cell array designed to integrate into portable devices, like a PDA (pictured above). Samsung predicts that the new power source would be used in everything from laptop PCs to digital cameras.
At the last CES, another fuel cell proponent, Toshiba, demonstrated a prototype methanol fuel cell powered notebook PC. The cell runs on a methanol-oxygen fuel mix, which generates and supplies power directly to the PC. It’s also shown a version to work with mobile audio players (pictured below), including a flash-memory-based MP3 player and an HDD-based unit.

Toshiba fuel cell

Tags: Trade

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