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Will Battery Efficiency Replace Moore's Law?

March 14, 2014 General 0 Comments

Will Battery Efficiency Replace Moore's Law?If you have a smartphone or tablet, you know how powerful its batteries are. It seems that every year, the portable gear we rely on for text, voice, search, audio and video is able to carry even more charge. But think back just 10 years to when the battery efficiency of a flip phone was barely enough to get you through half a day of just calling and texting.

New smartphone battery systems are built to last thanks to some exciting advances in technology. Extreme Tech delves into some of the advances in engineering that are providing us with these improved power sources for phones and tablets. Writer Sebastian Anthony details the activities of Silicon Valley start-up Amprius and their new advances in lithium-ion battery manufacturing. Engineers have actually started working on the nanoscale, coating silicon nanoparticles with carbon to produce more advanced battery designs that offer amazing power metrics of up to 650 watt-hours per liter (existing models get about 400 to 620). Power like this could potentially let us communicate cord-free for days.

Replacing Moore's Law With the Law of Mobile Power

For the last 30 years, techies have adhered to the theory known as Moore's Law, which is essentially the idea that computers will continue to get faster over time. Specifically, the law theorizes that the number of transistors or working pieces on a single inch of silicon should be expected to double about every 24 months, leading to significant increases in processor speed. To make new computers and devices even faster, engineers build multiple processors into a single chip, known as "multi-core" design.

But new evidence shows that Moore's Law will not go on forever, and that we may be nearing the end of our ability to make things faster. At the same time, battery efficiency research is showing that we're making huge advances in how long we're able to walk around with a powered-up device in our pockets. In his review of new battery efficiency technology, Anthony is quick to point out that device makers may hedge their release of bigger, better batteries in order to keep loyal fans lusting after the next new model. The idea that we may have the ability to innovate in power design for quite a long time to come is interesting for business students looking to predict trends in IT.

In light of these new developments in consumer electronics, we could be witnessing the beginning of a long trend in power advances that bases future design around the ability to keep devices working longer while we're untethered from the energy grid.

Photo credit: Flickr.

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