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Why is it so difficult to make progress in cell phone battery technology?

via:博客园     time:2019/8/21 17:18:32     readed:86

Cell phone batteries have been very interesting. The development of battery technology is not a day or two. Why is there no big breakthrough in battery technology?

Wen: Single side, figure: Internet

Recently, according to CNET, Samsung is studying alternatives to lithium-ion batteries. Samsung is expected to launch at least one cell phone equipped with graphene batteries between 2020 and 2021, according to Evan Blass, the Twitter explosive god. In fact, this is not the first time that there is news that mobile phone batteries will be revolutionary progress, as early as 2015 there have been similar rumors. Samsung has not responded officially, so we have no way to know whether the news is true or false. But cell phone batteries have always been very interesting. The development of battery technology is not a day or two. Why is there no big breakthrough in battery technology?

Battery technology has always been the main factor restricting the development of mobile phones, laptops and even new energy vehicles. Especially under the background that smartphones have completed a series of leapfrog development from hardware, software to design, batteries have become

In the era of functional computers, it is not uncommon that the full life of mobile phones is usually 2-3 days or longer, but in the era of large-screen smart phones, the life level of mobile phones has suddenly dropped to one day, or even less. Why is Moore's Law not applicable to battery development? Why is it so difficult for batteries to reduce volume and increase capacity? What is the history of battery development?


In the 1980s, Motorola DynaTAC8000X, the world's first truly meaningful mobile phone, was launched. This big brother weighs 2 pm (907g) and sells for $3995! About 25261 RMB! This mobile phone has never been used by the author, and even never seen before, only know who can use the eldest brother who is the most beautiful son in the village.

So what about its battery? Wald, Sweden


DynaTAC8000X (next to the antenna is its nickel-cadmium battery)

Come on, let's get closer and see what his battery looks like.


Internal structure of battery bunker

As the world's first mobile phone, the ancestors of mobile phones can not be too demanding. Six cylindrical batteries are bound with tape to form a battery pack with an output voltage of 7.5V. Compared with the current 3.8V battery voltage, the power consumption is much higher. You must say that the power consumption is so much higher, its performance must be very gratifying. Well, yeah, it's really done more than 20 minutes of talking and 10 hours of charging.

In addition to the short duration and long charging time, the memory effect of nickel-chromium batteries is also very serious. Users can't charge the batteries whenever they want. They must use up all the power of the batteries. Otherwise, the capacity of the batteries will gradually shrink over time. At that time, designers were trying to improve the internal space to make the battery occupy a smaller volume, and through the use of new technology to optimize the circuit, reduce power consumption, thus reducing the volume of mobile phones in continuous innovation. Although at that time has been criticized by people, but users have no choice, you do not need to love.


Market Circulating Batteries in the 1980s

But where there is oppression, there will be resistance. In the 1990s, the rapid development of semiconductor circuit technology led to smaller and smaller mobile phone design. It can be said that at that time, the smaller the mobile phone manufacturer, the more money it is. However, the volume of the battery alone can not be reduced as proportionally as that of the whole machine.

It's hard not to forget the profitable mobile phone manufacturers. In 1990, Ovonic Battery Co. invented nickel-hydrogen batteries, which cost little more than nickel-chromium batteries, but the capacity of batteries increased significantly. Compared with nickel-chromium batteries, nickel-hydrogen batteries are not only more environmentally friendly, but also have better memory effect, which is an ideal alternative product.

Motorola became the first person to eat crabs. The battery was used on Motorola StarTAC. The voltage of the mobile phone dropped from 7.5V to 3.6V, and it was smaller. The shape of the mobile phone also changed from big brother's big span to the overturned style of ocean atmosphere. It can be said that Motorola was a reformer.




StarTAC Ni-MH battery

Present situation

In the late 1990s, a research group of Asahi Chemicals, a Japanese petrochemical giant, used lithium cobalt as positive electrode, petroleum coke as negative electrode, and PC dissolved with lithium perchlorate as electrolyte to assemble the first rechargeable battery with a voltage close to 4V, and reasonably chose aluminium and copper as collectors of positive and negative electrodes, respectively. Sony immediately spent a lot of money on the technology. Almost at the same time, Sony has set up at least six technical research teams, using a similar horse racing mechanism for technology development. They changed the negative material from petroleum coke to graphite, and the electrolyte material to EC, which had been abandoned for 20 years, and finally completed the final breakthrough. The era of lithium-ion batteries has finally arrived. On February 14, 1990, Sony officially released a new lithium-ion rechargeable battery.


Lithium batteries surpass all aspects (source: AESC)

The emergence of lithium batteries has thoroughly liberated people's imagination of mobile phones, and also enabled mobile phones to appear in front of people in all kinds of fantastic styles. Various dazzling mobile phone functions are also gradually blooming. The shape of mobile phone battery has been evolving, and has a subtle impact on the way mobile phones are presented. Lithium battery has also been used so far. Still, a technological progress will surely lead to the common development of other industries. One person is decent and the dogs and chickens rise to the sky.


Sales growth of lithium-ion batteries for mobile phones (Source: Competition and Strategy for New Batteries)

In 2007, Apple launched the iPhone, with a large screen, a button and a receiver on the front. That's all you see. Such a minimalist design caused a lot of sensation, and also opened up the era of smart phones, which has continued to this day. However, in the era of smart phones, batteries have once again become a bottleneck restricting the development of mobile phones, because the duration of mobile phones once again returns to the level of charging a day.


Development of the iPhone Battery

The development of batteries seems to encounter another bottleneck period. Without the emergence of new technologies to break this situation, we can only continue to make articles on batteries.

Apple used the iPhone X to tell us that a lithium-ion battery can't solve the problem, so we use two to solve it. But the fundamental problem is that the battery still occupies most of the space, and the mobile phone's endurance has not been outstanding.


Design of Double Battery for iPhone X


Nokia, Motorola and other traditional mobile phone manufacturers have lost their position in the industry reform, and embedded square lithium batteries have lost their market. In 2016, only 18.6% of the square lithium-ion batteries will remain in the major mobile phone market, half of which will be used for low-end smartphones and half for traditional function phones. Soft pack batteries are expected to become mainstream batteries in recent years, including the next few years.

According to the data of the Lithium Electricity Union in 2017, soft-packed lithium batteries account for nearly 70% of the output in the field of 3C, which is expected to continue to increase in the future.


The proportion of soft pack batteries in 3C market is increasing year by year

In the past ten years, the capacity of mobile phone batteries has been developing very fast. The energy density of smart phone batteries has basically increased by 100%, with an average annual growth rate of 7.2%. Cell phone battery energy density has made a huge leap, an increase of about 40%. In the future, the trend of battery performance improvement is to increase capacity and to adopt new batteries.

Fast Charging Battery

The popularity of smart phones has increased the power consumption of mobile phones and accelerated the demand for fast charging technology. At present, the industry generally uses high voltage charging to increase charging transmission power to reduce charging time. Therefore, under the condition of ensuring energy density, improving the capacity of lithium batteries for fast charging is the key to technological development.

Multi-cell battery

At present, another solution to the increasing power consumption of mobile phones is multi-cell batteries. The long standby time makes the dual-cell solution the next area of battery development. The use of multi-cell batteries has greatly benefited Pack. The more the number of batteries, the more complex the battery Pack and BMS technology is, the higher the technical requirements of pack manufacturers, so the higher the added value of the pack link.

Lithium-silicon battery

In March 2018, two US technology companies Sila Technologies and Angstron Materials announced that they had developed a new lithium-silicon battery technology, which could be manufactured on the ground in the next few years, increasing the power consumption of cell phones, automobiles and smart watch batteries by 30% or more.

Large capacity lithium-ion batteries

In July 2018, Northwestern University's research team announced that it had developed a new material that could be used to manufacture high-capacity lithium-ion batteries with stable performance, thus greatly increasing the durability of smartphones, electric vehicles and so on, even more than twice the current one.

Solid state battery

Unlike lithium batteries, solid-state batteries use solid-state electrolytes, so leakage of electrolyte in lithium batteries does not occur on solid-state batteries at all, which means that the latter is safer.

From the development of battery in recent years, it can be predicted that mobile phone battery will continue to develop in accordance with the trend of environmental protection, safety and durability. We are now in an era of technological explosion. We believe that in the near future, mobile phones will use lighter, safer, more durable and more environmentally friendly batteries to cope with more functions of future mobile phones.

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