Positive outlook for batteries

The demand for enhanced cellular handset features will force battery makers to dramatically improve their products, says In-Stat/MDR. The analyst house believes they will do this.

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By  Neil Denslow Published  September 26, 2002

The demand for enhanced cellular handset features, such as colour LCD displays and GPS, will force battery makers to dramatically improve their products, says In-Stat/MDR. The analyst house is confident though, that this challenge will be met.

In-Stat/MDR predicts that a growing range of power sources will be available for handsets, as the market has already evolved from sealed lead acid, nickel cadmium and nickel metal hydride to lithium ion and lithium-ion polymer, In the next few years, fuel cells will also join the list of handset power choices.

The research firm predicts that through 2006, lithium-ion polymer batteries will have the greatest growth rate, but it forecasts that lithium-ion unit sales will still exceed those of lithium-ion polymer by almost three to one in 2006.

“With service providers requiring extra features in order to add revenue to their bottom lines, and, consumers becoming increasingly accustomed to long handset battery life, battery storage capacities are having a tough time keeping pace,” says Allen Nogee, a Senior Analyst with In-Stat/MDR.

“But consumers shouldn’t give up hope of ever seeing long lasting wireless devices in the future. Through the years component manufacturers have done an excellent job of keeping power consumption of wireless devices in check, and ever shrinking process technologies will continue to do this in the future.”

The analyst adds that 0.13-micron process technology is typical used today, with 0.09-micron processes are starting to appear. With each drop in process size, the voltage and power used also drops.

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