Intel recommends standardization for ultrabook batteries

At the Intel Developer Forum in Beijing, China, Intel is advocating a standardized battery design for ultrabooks. Although the firm concedes that high-end ultrabook chassis may require custom batteries for “industrial design reasons,” it argues that standardization would allow mainstream ultrabooks to hit lower price points. Savings of 5-10% are quoted in the presentation slides posted by Liliputing. Standardization would also make it easier for notebook makers to source batteries, the slides contend.

Intel is proposing a battery with a footprint of 60 x 80 mm. It would use standard cylindrical cells measuring 16 mm in diameter, the sweet spot for capacity, size, and energy density, according to Intel. There are power delivery considerations, as well. Intel has some specific recommendations about power burst ratings to ensure that its Turbo mechanism has sufficient wattage to kick the CPU into high gear when running on battery alone.

I’m for anything that can make ultrabooks cheaper. There’s another potential benefit to standardizing batteries, too. Removeable batteries remain relatively rare in the super-slim realm, but standardization could make it easier to integrate them into ultrabook chassis. Being able to swap in a new power source would certainly help the shorter battery life typical of ultra-skinny notebooks.

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    • merryjohn1
    • 8 years ago
    • UberGerbil
    • 8 years ago

    I can’t find any trace of it with a couple of desultory googles, but I recall back in the early-to-mid 90s Duracell was trying to market standardized laptop batteries (which they of course would happily supply). It went exactly nowhere, but of course the world was very different then (Dell, HP, IBM, and the other big names making laptops was actually designing their own, not relying on the same handful of ODMs). Does anybody else remember this?

      • willmore
      • 8 years ago

      Yes, I, too remember this. I think I picked up some at a hamfest after the effort went bust. It was a very cheap source of bare Li-ion cells!

    • odizzido
    • 8 years ago

    Wow there are a lot of good posts in this topic. Standardizing power connectors(holy crap yes, that is so annoying….and seriously why hasn’t this happened yet?) having removable cells that can work in multiple devices, the ability to build your own laptops just like a PC, etc.

    If these discs were to come in a removable form that would be good. You could just fill the bottom of the case with as many “battery ports” as you could hold and users could select their own weight/battery life tradeoff. Or even change it around daily if your usage requirements change….or you could bring spare ones very easy…..or you could even possibly change them one at a time while the laptop was turned on.

    • Deanjo
    • 8 years ago

    “Here at intel we would like the industry to accept our battery design. For the low price of $20.00 per unit you to can license this breakthrough design….”

    • ew
    • 8 years ago

    Intel seems to be making a lot of *suggestions* to laptop makers lately. Why don’t they just start making their own laptops if they think they know how to do it so well.

      • Farting Bob
      • 8 years ago

      Because there is no profit margin in it for Intel. Unless you are selling to the high end you should just be happy if you break even on these laptops. Intel would rather make their tasty profit on the CPU and chipset then let other companies take the much riskier low margin part.

    • jjj
    • 8 years ago

    Standardization has a negative impact on innovation.This is how the PC industry became stuck ,everybody making the same thing and afraid to take any risks and move forward.

    PS: Loving it how Intel if fighting tooth and nail to lower all other costs except the CPU.

      • NeelyCam
      • 8 years ago

      [quote<]Loving it how Intel if fighting tooth and nail to lower all other costs except the CPU.[/quote<] That's how they make $$$$s

      • Vulk
      • 8 years ago

      I would kill for a standardized laptop chasis with user upgradeable parts. Imagine being able to swap out mobo’s and keep your screen and keyboard on a laptop. Heck imagine being able to swap keyboards to get one that fits YOU instead of what the manufacturer thinks will sell well on a showroom floor. I know Shuttle was looking at creating an initiative for standardized laptop parts… It’d be nice if it went somewhere. I’d love for an end on designed obsolescence for entire laptops.

        • odizzido
        • 8 years ago

        it would be so awesome if there was a way to build our own laptops easily. We could select the case we wanted and then just fill it with parts just like you would with a regular PC. As it stands you need to be a blacksmith to build yourself a proper laptop.

    • mattthemuppet
    • 8 years ago

    why aren’t they recommending Li-po batteries instead? Weight and cost are similar, energy density is perhaps a little lower but they have huge packaging advantages over cylindrical li-ion cells. It’s not like Apple haven’t make them work..

      • ImSpartacus
      • 8 years ago

      Are costs actually similar? I thought that was the reason LiPo haven’t permeated the market.

        • mattthemuppet
        • 8 years ago

        I only really know about retail prices, which are distorted by all sorts of things, mostly the fact that none of the batteries are being sold for what they’re originally made (18650 cells for bike lights, for example). So at an industrial level they could be quite different. I think OEMs also like the fact that 18650 cells are much more durable (puncture resistant, more explosion resistant) than Li-pos, but that’s just conjecture.

    • nico1982
    • 8 years ago

    16 mm diameter cells? I guess we will not get ultrathin ultrabooks anymore.

      • bthylafh
      • 8 years ago

      I’m a little surprised they didn’t specify LiPoly, yeah.

    • bthylafh
    • 8 years ago

    YES PLEASE CAN WE GET STANDARD BATTERIES FOR ALL LAPTOPS?

    I mean three or four standard sizes, each size being a single form factor. Having to toss out a laptop because nobody makes batteries for it anymore is just stupid.

    LET’S NOT FORGET STANDARD POWER ADAPTERS.

      • BIF
      • 8 years ago

      I so totally agree.

      I HATE WALL WARTS!

      As advanced as humankind is, we have not / will not establish a consistent “built in” wall wart adapter. Why not? Why did we stop at wall sockets and plugs, are we THAT lacking in vision?

        • trackerben
        • 8 years ago

        Just take the Blue Pill. The Machine will remain powered up.

      • UberGerbil
      • 8 years ago

      We’re making [url=http://www.amazon.com/Newer-Technology-Power2U-Outlet-Charging/dp/B0065I114K<]some progress[/url<]. I don't think the folks who oversee residential wiring safety are enamored of the idea of 60+W DC coming out of your wall, but then the DC-AC battles go all the way back to Tesla and Edison. But maybe our computing devices will get power-frugal enough that ~5W USB is all they'll need. Uh, yeah.

        • bthylafh
        • 8 years ago

        I don’t even mean pervasive DC in the walls (although that would be nice too), I mean laptops having a single design for their charging ports, with a single polarity and a single voltage, so that if the wallwart for one laptop dies I can simply use the other one’s until I get around to buying another, or so that if my wife and I both bring a laptop somewhere we only have to bother with one wart.

        Same thing that modern cell phones enjoy, really.

          • UberGerbil
          • 8 years ago

          Well, modern cell phones standardized because [url=http://blogs.wsj.com/tech-europe/2011/01/05/eu-standard-phone-charger-coming-this-year/<]EU regulations forced them to[/url<]. The companies bitched, of course, because they couldn't sell their highly profitable proprietary power adapters, but it was a boon for consumers. For laptops, short of having a standard imposed on them by a company with enough clout to do so (something Microsoft and Intel used to be good for back in the day, but not so much anymore) that's probably the only way you'll see any progress on that front -- and if it happens it'll again come from the EU, not the US.

    • hiro_pro
    • 8 years ago

    yes. standardize everything. love it. i am so tired of carrying a 2 sizes of usb cords, an iphone cord, a camera cord and everything else. maybe one day they will use c battery sized lithium batteries that can be recharged. i can put 3 in my laptop, 2 in my ultrabook and one in my flash light or dslr.

    • ludi
    • 8 years ago

    Next week’s news today: Intel Recommends Standardization For Entire Ultrabook Form Factor, Suggest Vendors Differentiate Product Using Exciting Colors

    Next month’s news today: Intel Recommends Standard Color

      • smilingcrow
      • 8 years ago

      I look forward to the Dell Model U and the HP Model U etc.

        • BIF
        • 8 years ago

        Also funny!

        • smilingcrow
        • 8 years ago

        In black only of course.

      • BIF
      • 8 years ago

      Funny funny. +1 for you even though I do not share your sarcastic humor!

      • UberGerbil
      • 8 years ago

      Henry Ford, is that you? Of course it wasn’t all that long ago that you could get a computer in any color you liked, as long as it was beige.

        • Duck
        • 8 years ago

        [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyMFjUwoLuM[/url<] 1:45 if you don't want to watch it all.

      • ImSpartacus
      • 8 years ago

      Intel is working hard to make sure OEMs don’t fuck Ultrabooks up.

      Everybody wants to copy Apple, but they still try to race to the bottom. You can do it like Apple or you can race to the bottom, not both. 2012’s Ultrabooks aren’t supposed to be cheap, they are supposed to be effective.

        • indeego
        • 8 years ago

        The problem with this is Intel is a technical company, not a marketing or PC design company. Have you seen the crap they release out of their “future” design idea labs?

          • NeelyCam
          • 8 years ago

          Are you dissing Will.I.Am..?

        • Bensam123
        • 8 years ago

        Yes sir… I think they’re doing a pretty good job of trying to make them attractive too, if manufacturers actually followed the path they laid out. It’s interesting too because all of their advice for ultrabooks can be applied to all laptops, they’re just choosing to point it out in laptops because they defined the spec.

    • Mourmain
    • 8 years ago

    Seeing how people don’t really buy replacement batteries (for things like ultrabooks), the hardware makers might actually agree to let this one happen.

    But I don’t see the argument in “make it easier for notebook makers to source batteries” — I’m sure the cylindrical cells are already pretty standardised and therefore easy to source. Standardising the plastic shell around them is more of a design headache than a sourcing relief.

      • BIF
      • 8 years ago

      I almost always keep a laptop in service long enough to require a second battery. I recently purchased a laptop battery for a friend who was keeping an aged Toshiba going. $120 is a lot cheaper than a new $600 to $1,000 rig, especially if the new rig is only going to be used for email and web browsing.

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