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Gadgets & Home Improvement

Longer battery life for mobile devices

Firm develops technology that can extend battery life by over 10%.
Asia One - April 22, 2013
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Longer battery life for mobile devices

 

SINGAPORE - A global tech firm has developed a new technology that tackles the biggest challenge facing manufacturers of smartphones and tablets - extending battery life.
It is a problem that all mobile device companies face: Gadgets have to be made more sophisticated with extra features to thrive in a competitive market, but that just increases the drain on battery power.
STMicroelectronics believes it can help with a technology called FD-SOI (fully depleted silicon on insulator), which it says can extend the battery life of mobile devices by more than 10 per cent.
Mr Jean Marc Chery, senior executive vice-president of manufacturing at the French-Italian company, says the new technology can also simplify the chipmaking process by more than 10 per cent, leading to reduced costs.
Mobile device makers want to keep costs as low as possible to make products affordable while earning a good profit. The electronic components for a smartphone, for example, cost about US$100 (S$123) per device.
"So every penny saved from manufacturing will go a long way," said Mr Chery.
The company developed the technology in 2010 because it saw that the existing process would become too complex if each new generation of mobile devices added new features to become more powerful.
"We developed it in 12 months and then took some time to test it. We're now ready for full production," said Mr Chery.
The process itself is complicated, but is essentially what is referred to as an enabler technology, taking the complexity out of the semiconductor process, simplifying it and reducing manufacturing costs.
Manufacturers, especially American and Japanese makers of mobile phones and gaming consoles, have expressed interest in the process, he added.
He expects that they will switch to it in the second half of next year, with the first devices using an FD-SOI chip launched before the end of 2014.
Mr Chery is also trying to interest semiconductor makers in adopting the new process - an essential move if FD-SOI is taken up by mobile device makers.
It has already authorised GlobalFoundries to make chips using the process.
"I hope the industry adopts this technology so that there is capacity to make these chips," said Mr Chery.
Semiconductor companies can employ the new process without changing their manufacturing operations.
"We've retained the semiconducting making process that every company uses.
"We introduced only less than 10 per cent changes. So it's easier for them to adopt it," said Mr Chery.
The process has been tested and production in large quantities can start soon.

 

SINGAPORE - A global tech firm has developed a new technology that tackles the biggest challenge facing manufacturers of smartphones and tablets - extending battery life.

It is a problem that all mobile device companies face: Gadgets have to be made more sophisticated with extra features to thrive in a competitive market, but that just increases the drain on battery power.

STMicroelectronics believes it can help with a technology called FD-SOI (fully depleted silicon on insulator), which it says can extend the battery life of mobile devices by more than 10 per cent.

Mr Jean Marc Chery, senior executive vice-president of manufacturing at the French-Italian company, says the new technology can also simplify the chipmaking process by more than 10 per cent, leading to reduced costs.

Mobile device makers want to keep costs as low as possible to make products affordable while earning a good profit. The electronic components for a smartphone, for example, cost about US$100 (S$123) per device.

"So every penny saved from manufacturing will go a long way," said Mr Chery.

The company developed the technology in 2010 because it saw that the existing process would become too complex if each new generation of mobile devices added new features to become more powerful.

"We developed it in 12 months and then took some time to test it. We're now ready for full production," said Mr Chery.

The process itself is complicated, but is essentially what is referred to as an enabler technology, taking the complexity out of the semiconductor process, simplifying it and reducing manufacturing costs.

Manufacturers, especially American and Japanese makers of mobile phones and gaming consoles, have expressed interest in the process, he added.

He expects that they will switch to it in the second half of next year, with the first devices using an FD-SOI chip launched before the end of 2014.

Mr Chery is also trying to interest semiconductor makers in adopting the new process - an essential move if FD-SOI is taken up by mobile device makers.

It has already authorised GlobalFoundries to make chips using the process.

"I hope the industry adopts this technology so that there is capacity to make these chips," said Mr Chery.

Semiconductor companies can employ the new process without changing their manufacturing operations.

"We've retained the semiconducting making process that every company uses.

"We introduced only less than 10 per cent changes. So it's easier for them to adopt it," said Mr Chery.

The process has been tested and production in large quantities can start soon.

 

 

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