Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Panasonic Announces New Battery Technology For Laptop Computers


We all remember the massive battery recalls that happened in 2007. Batteries from several computer makers were recalled after several of the batteries in computers overheated and caught on fire. Panasonic has announced a new battery that is safer and has more capacity than previous battery types.

Panasonic Corp. has developed a lithium-ion battery that has 10 percent more capacity than its most recent model introduced last week, two people familiar with the product said.

Osaka-based Panasonic increased the lithium-ion battery’s capacity to at least 3.4 amperes per hour, the people said, asking not to be identified before the company announces the product on Dec. 25.

The consumer electronics maker said on Dec. 18 it began mass production of a 3.1 amperes per hour rechargeable lithium- ion battery suitable for laptops. Panasonic estimates the global market for such batteries will increase fivefold from this year to 3.2 trillion yen ($35 billion) in 2018, driven by expansion of low-emission vehicles and mobile electronics.

The company, which this month completed the takeover of Sanyo Electric Co., the world’s biggest maker of rechargeable batteries, plans to invest 123 billion yen to triple production of lithium-ion batteries for laptops and notebooks by October 2011 to maintain a lead over South Korea’s Samsung SDI Co. and other rivals.