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Apple, others working on battery standard

post #1 of 17
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Leading notebook makers Apple, Dell, and Lenovo will hold a summit meeting in San Jose, Calif. next month to begin development of standards for the manufacture of lithium ion batteries for portable and handheld electronics.

The companies are part of the OEM Critical Components Committee of the IPC-Association Connecting Electronics Industries -- an organization of some 2,400 companies which represent all facets of the electronic interconnection industry, including design, printed circuit board manufacturing and electronics assembly.

The move comes on the heels of Dell's announcement this month that it is recalling 4.1 million lithium-ion batteries -- the largest consumer electronics recall in history. The notebook batteries, which include cells manufactured by Sony, may overheat and could pose a fire risk, Dell said.

"Without a doubt, standardization can and will address the issue of operation and safety called into question by the use of lithium ion batteries.," said John Grosso, chairman of the IPC OEM Critical Components Committee and director of supplier engineering and quality at Dell. "While the Committee had identified lithium ion batteries as the next product for standardization, we are going to accelerate our activities now."

Grosso said the IPC Committee will identify any current standards related to lithium ion batteries with the goal of standardizing design, performance and safety requirements for these batteries.

The committee has recently been very active in identifying and working to standardize components vital to the the computer and telecommunications industries. It recently completed a standard for cooling fans, which took less than a year from design to implementation -- a remarkable turnaround time for PC standards.

The E-Commerce Times recently quoted Grosso as saying that he expects a similar turnaround time for the battery standard. "We're going to have a standard out on batteries by no later than July 2007," he said.
post #2 of 17
So something good came out of all these battery recalls. It has forced these companies to take a much harder look at what they're using for batteries.
post #3 of 17
Wouldn't it be nice if all laptops used say one of three different standard types of batteries. Kind of like how AA batteries are a standard. Then every laptop wouldn't have it's own weird type of battery.
post #4 of 17
I'd personally like to see a battery-life rating standard across laptop manufacturers. But I don't think that's the focus of this stuff...
post #5 of 17
i think dell could use the help
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post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbaynham

i think dell could use the help

Sony. Remember that Apple had some burning, and melting batteries from Sony a while ago.

But standardization should help to bring the price of these expensive batteries down.

It won't prevent manufacturing defects like these though.
post #7 of 17
I agree, it'd be ideal if there were say 3-5 different basic types of battery avaliable that would work with any laptop. Well, 1 type would be best, but thats never likely to happen. Obviously whats inside could vary, so you could have lower power or higher power batteries, but they should still work with any laptop.
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by eAi

I agree, it'd be ideal if there were say 3-5 different basic types of battery avaliable that would work with any laptop. Well, 1 type would be best, but thats never likely to happen. Obviously whats inside could vary, so you could have lower power or higher power batteries, but they should still work with any laptop.

Just so long as they are safe and won't fry your laptop or your table top...
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post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Scott

Just so long as they are safe and won't fry your laptop or your table top...

Again, that's a QC problem, and won't be resolved with standardization.
post #10 of 17
Something like this needed to be done with something as important as a battery a long time ago.
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post #11 of 17
A Sony laptop burst into flames...TWICE...yesterday not too far from where I live.
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post #12 of 17
Dell announced today at the meeting to standardize lithium-ion batteries, that they have submitted a request that all batteries explode at some point after the initial purchase. Dell only feels that this design is the most lucrative financially as it requires the consumer to buy new hardware and software. Plus it makes them not look so bad if everyone's computers blow up, not just theirs.
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post #13 of 17
I just heard on CNN that Apple has recalled 1.1M batteries. Sony was the manufacturer.

Doesn't seem to be on the internets yet.
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by jouster

I just heard on CNN that Apple has recalled 1.1M batteries. Sony was the manufacturer.

Doesn't seem to be on the internets yet.

Yeah, see, it's all coming around to Sony.
post #15 of 17
I think it's time for a completely new kind of battery soon. I've been reading about different technologies in the making that should be longer lasting per charge, charging in a couple of seconds, and virtually never wears out. I think the days of the lithion batteries ear are counted. Hopefully the industry will see this and speed up the process.
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by jouster

I just heard on CNN that Apple has recalled 1.1M batteries. Sony was the manufacturer.

Doesn't seem to be on the internets yet.


Apple is trying to catch this before it hit's them. Here is a link to the article.
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post #17 of 17
This Sony battery recall is certainly not the first in many years. Working at a large electrical goods supplier in Australia almost six years ago I received an internal memo regarding the recall of Li-ion camcorder batteries (Sony) because of overheating and "possible explosion of cell" problems. One particular batch was named as defective though this would have run into tens of thousands of that particular unit.

It would seem that this is an old problem with such cells and may not just be limited to Sony.
Any development of a new standard for li-ion cells would certainly be a welcome move for the industry.
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