New Batteries, SDRAM in the Works

Yesterday, companies made announcements of new batteries and SDRAM that might go into future Palm Powered models.

Toshiba publicly displayed its new rechargable Advanced Lithium Batteries (ALB) for the first time. Combining the flexibility of Lithium polymer technology (PLB) with the high energy density of traditional Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, ALBs can be as thin as 1 mm. They also decrease battery swelling to less than 0.1 mm. ALBs cost about 20% more than Li-ion batteries but slightly less than PLB ones.

The ALB technology provides excellent cycle life performance, maintaining 80% of initial capacity after 500 cycles. In addition, ALBs do not suffer from a "memory" effect.

Production quantities are currently available. Thought the official introduction was just yesterday, Toshiba says that one handheld computer maker has already started using the technology.

Infineon Technologies introduced its new Mobile-RAM, which is SDRAM designed to provide very low power consumption, small form factor, and low cost per bit. It can be used on both 16-bit and 32-bit bus environments, which means it can be used in both Palm's current 16-bit models and future 32-bit ones. The 128Mb chip is just 8mm x 9mm, about one third the size of a regular 128Mb SDRAM.

Power consumption is reduced by up to 80% depending on the operating conditions and system design. This is achieved by a reduced operating and I/O voltage, and other integrated power management techniques. Standard SDRAMs operate at 3.3 volts, whereas the Mobile-RAM operates at 2.5 volts for the memory array and 1.8 volts (or 2.5V) for the I/O section. Power management features include provisions for a temperature compensation of the self-refresh rate and optional partial array select to restrict self-refresh to only a portion of the DRAM.

The first samples of Mobile-RAM will be available in Q2. Volume production is expected to start later this year.

Micron also announced a version of SDRAM for handheld devices. Theirs is called BAT-RAM, and it offers 64Mb in 2Mb x 32 configuration, and draws either 2.5V or 3.3V. To save power, BAT-RAM can adjust its self-refresh rate and power consumption according to its temperature. However, it lacks Mobile-RAM's ability to restrict self-refresh to only a portion of the DRAM.

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I.M. Anonymous @ 2/13/2001 2:45:10 PM #
also check out:


I.M. Anonymous @ 2/14/2001 11:08:27 PM #
na-na-nu-nu-na-na-na-na BAT-RAM


WorldCTZen @ 2/16/2001 12:56:15 AM #
This month's issue of Popular Science has an article on a new RAM form: magnetic RAM. Instead of storing bits in volitile memory, bits are stored magneticly, meaning there's no need for a constant power supply to maintain the bits. Think hard-drive RAM. It's also supposed to be smaller & cheaper than SDRAM. So, think instant-on PC's & handhelds that don't dump your data when the batteries die.
I'd say that makes both of these "new" chips old news.


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