Occasionally you may have heard of cell battery explosion that not only damage the portable device, but may also potentially threaten the consumers’ life. Once it violates the product safety requirements, it will cause millions of dollars for the recall action and even worst is it will jeopardize the company image. One of the examples could be the Acer Massive Battery Recall due to overheated condition. In view of this, NTT DoCoMo, a famous Japanese mobile operator has been putting much effort in developing a ‘smarter’ Lithium-Ion battery pack targeted for consumer markets.
The smart battery pack is embedded with a 8-bit microcontroller that can further enhance the safety protection mechanism. The 8-bit microcontroller will able to monitor and detect the battery condition and feedback to the users if it is time for recharge, recycle and even warn users when it is the time for replacement. As opposed to current cell technology that only provides limited information such as charging profiles, battery type, overheat and over current condition, the microcontroller will able to probe further on certain critical parameters and advice if the battery is approaching end of life cycle and needs to be changed. Good thing is, all this information will be stored into its own memory chip that is resided in the battery pack itself so that users don’t have to worry about when the battery is being swapped or mixed.
Once the whole architecture is defined, the company will be exploring next stage on how to increase the battery capacity so that it will really bring benefits to end consumers. NTT DoCoMo has just demonstrated the next generation smart battery pack during the recent Wireless Japan event held in Tokyo Big Sight.