Monday 24 October 2016

New chip could charge smartphones in 10 minutes

Emma Clark

Published 26/11/2015 | 10:24


A new chip, which is about the size of a fingernail, could help smartphone batteries, as well as larger batteries, charge in less than 10 minutes.

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It’s only when you’re getting ready to leave the house that you typically see that your smartphone battery is a bit on the low side. But that doesn’t leave you with much time to charge it. A new chip could solve this issue by helping your smartphone charge in 10 minutes or less.

Professor Rachid Yazami of Singapore's Nanyang Technological University (NUS) has created a chip that’s about the size of a fingernail. As it’s small enough to embed in most batteries, Dr Yazami is hopeful that it will be used in everything from smartphones to electric cars.

He has already spoken with the likes of Sony, Sanyo and Samsung, and plans to talk to Tesla.

The chip will reduce charging times, but Dr Yazami also says that it will reduce the risk of battery fires. He acknowledges that the risk of a battery failing and catching fire is very low, but it can still happen.

“Current chargers do not take into account the health of a battery when charging it. They send the same amount of charge regardless of the battery's condition. With this chip, the charge can be regulated to avoid damaging the battery,” he explained.

NUS says that the chip should be ready for licensing by the end of next year.

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