Battery immune to power fade launched

Boston-Power Inc. will announce at the Demo conference on Tuesday a notebook battery that the company says recharges significantly faster than current battery technology and doesn’t suffer from power fade.

Called Sonata, this lithium-ion battery is the first product released by two-year-old Boston-Power. Sonata can recharge to 80% of its capacity in 30 minutes, twice as fast as existing battery technology, said company founder and CEO Christina Lampe-Onnerud. The battery’s lifespan is expected to match that of a typical notebook, she added, which is usually three years.

"Most users, once they're hooked on mobility, won't go back and work with a cord, so they see a downgrade [in battery capacity] within the first four to six months,” said Lampe-Onnerud. Some users end up spending as much on new batteries over the life of a notebook as they initially paid for the computer, she adds.

Sonata features a mixture of performance and safety enhancements through slower chemical kinetics, novel current-interrupt devices, new thermal fuses, unique pressure-relief vents and safer pack configuration, said Lampe-Onnerud.

The battery can be used by existing notebooks as well as new models. The company said it expects notebooks to be on the market with Sonata this summer.

Boston-Power plans to sell Sonata to notebook manufacturers and has attracted the interest of Hewlett-Packard Co. The Westboro, Mass.-based company will share the Demo stage with HP Distinguished Technologist John Wozniak to announce Sonata.

The company on Tuesday is also announcing $15.6 million in Series B funding from Venrock Associates, Gabriel Venture Partners LP and Granite Global Ventures Management LLC. Boston-Power said the market for portable power products reached $5 billion in 2006 and competes with Sony Corp., Sanyo Electric Co. and the Panasonic Corporation of North America unit of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co.

This story, "Battery immune to power fade launched" was originally published by Network World.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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