Yes, we did ask. Apparently no – it’s not an early April Fool’s Day joke, and if you lie about it when asked that destroys the purpose anyway. So unless Toshiba is a badly timed, lying prankster then we are dealing with solid fact here.
All of which makes its last announcement rather remarkable. It appears the Japanese giant is claiming to have virtually eliminated recharge times or, as it is puts it, “battery recharges to 80 per cent of full capacity in only a minute. Total recharge takes only a few more minutes”.
That’s not all either, the batteries boast breakthroughs in density and life cycle as well, with a 600mAh module measuring just 3.8mm thick, 62mm high and 35mm deep and maintaining 99 per cent of its capacity after 1,000 cycles of discharging and recharging. It loves the environment too, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by saving and reusing energy that would previously have been wasted.
The technology behind this breakthrough (rather strangely illustrated in the two basic star and planet-esque diagrams above and below) comes from advances in the company’s nano-material technology where new nano-particles are applied to the negative electrode to prevent organic liquid electrolytes from reducing during battery recharging. The nano-particles quickly absorb and store vast amounts of lithium ions, without causing any deterioration in the electrode.
So now you know… (ish)
The first commercial uses for these sprightly fellas will be in the automotive and industrial sectors when they debut in 2006. You can bet they won’t take long to find their way into notebooks, laptops, PDAs, mobile phones, MP3 players and the like if they can deliver on these massive claims.
Personally, at TR we’d like to see one combined with the 0.85in hard disk we covered yesterday to create, well… just about anything really.
Let me repeat once again (let's cut out those enquiring emails right now) it is NOT an early April Fool’s (I hate those) and besides Toshiba said it wasn’t, so for it to change its mind now after we all got excited would be sneaky!