PC makers to cooperate on new battery standards

In the wake of Dell's massive 4.1 million battery recall sparked by overheating Sony batteries, Apple, Dell, and Lenovo have all agreed to hold a summit in order to establish better battery design standards. As part of the IPC OEM Critical Components Committee, the three companies will meet next month in San Jose, California. There, the committee will look at standardizing design, performance, and safety requirements for lithium ion batteries, which are most prevalent in laptops and handheld devices. Committee Chairman and Dell Director of Supplier Engineering and Quality John Grosso says the committee was already planning to standardize lithium ion batteries but has now decided to "accelerate [its] activities." Grosso says the new lithium ion battery standard will be out no later than July 2007.

In related news, the Japanese trade ministry has also taken interest in the Sony/Dell battery debacle. The ministry has ordered Dell and Sony to report on the battery failures and explain how they will avoid such incidents in the future before the end of the month. If the two companies fail to meet the deadline, they will face a fine under Japanese consumer safety law. Other Japanese electronics firms have also been ordered to make sure their batteries are safe.

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