Sony's High-Power Li-Ion Batteries Promise Fast Recharging, Long Lifecycles

Around here, there seems to be a never-ending debate surrounding batteries. You can't live with 'em, and you certainly can't live without 'em. Whether we're discussing just how disingenuous most battery life figures seem on modern day notebooks or just how great our lives would be if someone could develop an AA cell that lasted longer than a blink of an eye, we're pretty sure the topic won't ever grow cold.

Helping to prove our point today is Sony, who has just launched a new type of lithium ion secondary battery that combines high-power and long-life performance by using olivine-type lithium iron phosphate as the cathode material. We know, that's a lot of technobabble all at once, but there's actually some really interested technology behind the madness.

Put simply, the new tech should enable Sony to create standard rechargeable batteries with a remarkably high power density of 1800W/kg and an ability to withstand around 2,000 charge-discharge cycles. Compare those figures to the ones on your current rechargeables and you'll get a sense of just how impressive it is. In case you're still not moved, have a listen at this: these new cells can supposed be 99% recharged in just half an hour. Talk about curbing the need for loads of extras!

Of course, we still have no idea just how far away these things are from reality, and we have all ideas that Sony will charge a pretty penny for them considering that they might be the last rechargeable batteries you buy for, say, a year or two. But look--we've been clamoring for battery innovation for what feels like a century, so you won't find us complaining when it happens. Now, if only they could transfer this stuff over the notebook battery realm, we'd really have a cause for celebration.