Both. BlackBerry’s Struggle To Balance Battery Life.
Notwithstanding BlackBerry’s current battle to maintain market share and image, they continue to develop interesting products that stretch technology to the limit.
The latest and greatest device is rather like the 100 meters world record, it rarely lasts any great length of time. A similar analogy can be made for processing speed; blazing speed can only be maintained over short distance as the runner’s battery fades.
Battery Balance Evaluated
To continue this useful analogy let’s consider another market segment who can live with a lower processor speed if the battery lasts longer. That analogy will be true of the 200-meter sprint and even the 400M.
A battery contains only limited energy and the manufacturer introduces mobile phone models that target the individual demand of a user, speed or longevity.
In this respect RIM, BlackBerry’s Canadian manufacturer have shown prudence, holding off issuing models with blinding speed that create marketing bragging rights, followed subsequently by customer frustration as batteries die before bedtime.
Is Anyone Out There Solving This Problem?
Of course; huge resources are invested into all aspects of battery efficiency and many kinds of battery. Even though few of us have driven an electric car we are all aware of it existing and its current limitations. The public also perceives that scientist/engineers will soon find a smaller, more powerful, more quickly rechargeable solution.
Mobile phone batteries are no different; think back only a few years to that iconic brick you either owned or viewed with envy.
What Advances Are In Sight?
The BBC News website reported in their Technology Sector of experiments in the USA at Northwestern University. Techniques have been developed whereby a battery suitable for use in cellular devices could charge in fifteen minutes and last up to a week (we assume some reasonable level of use is used as a criteria to claim this life).
The article reported that Dr Harold Kung and his team had found a method that permitted more ions to be crammed into the battery and, by altering the component materials, speed up the ions movement.
What Did The Scientists Do?
By replacing the conventional silicone sheets with clusters of the same material they increased the number of lithium ions that a battery can hold.
To accelerate the recharging speed they introduced a chemical oxidation process into manufacturing, effectively drilling tiny holes into the graphene sheets that batteries are made of.
It has to be noted that the graphene sheets are only 20 to 40 nanometers wide and a mere atom thick. Incomprehensible measurements, even to phone geeks, but adequate to provide additional volume that can store lithium ions and at a faster rate.
Any Disadvantages To This Miracle?
Always. After 150 charges both recharging and power speed drops of dramatically. The team suggests that that is about a year’s average usage, which users may find acceptable if cost is reasonable. It is they note five times more effective than the lithium ion batteries marketed today.
Are Other Advances Possible?
Northwestern University trials concentrated on making improvements to anodes, where current flows into the batteries when they are providing power. They are now directing their attention to the cathode, where current flows out, and one can reasonably expect some advances.
All Our Desires Will Be Satisfied
Highly unlikely; man always wants MORE.
With The ability to sustain, even increase speed, over longer periods, will come advances in processing that render the poor maligned battery to become yet again inadequate. Furthermore, the advanced convergence of phone, computer, etc. will place greater demands on the batteries capacity.
What does that mean? If we at unlockworldwide.com knew the answer to that we would not be here unlocking your phones.
Will BlackBerry benefit from these advances? Possibly. Maybe. Why not? Research In Motion showed great initiative and talent for than a decade; a long time in communications these days. Given good leadership, sound strategy and focus, of course they can be a player.