Why are telephones so good, but are batteries still so terrible?

It is a universal truth that the battery life on phones is poor. Even with the gigantic batteries and external battery packs that we are lying around, most modern smartphones are struggling to use a full day, while the best devices barely scrape by two.


But it wasn't like that: in the (relatively) old days, telephones had a (relatively) fantastic battery life, which lasted several days at the same time without being charged. And yes, nowadays our phones are much more powerful than, say, a Nokia 3310, but why didn't batteries keep up with the pace of progress?

According to Venkat Srinivasan, director of the Argonne Collaborative Center for Energy Storage Science and an expert in the field of battery technology, the core of the problem is simple: Moore's law is simply better than battery technology, which means that our phones have become better – and consume more power – at a much faster rate than progress in battery & # 39; s.

It is not that there have been no improvements: we have been able to steadily increase energy density in recent years by reducing internal components. But according to Srinivasan, "Five years ago it became clear that we could not remove more things, there were fires. We have now reached a phase in which new improvements in energy density will come from changing battery material and new materials are always slower compared to what I am technical progress. "

That's because today's rechargeable batteries in phones are based on lithium cobalt, a battery technology we've been using since the early 1990s, and we've reached the limit of how much force we can squeeze out. There is hope for the future. Researchers are already investigating new battery technology, such as solid-state batteries, that could open the door for more energy-tight materials that could provide more power for future devices.

However, there is a point behind it: by the time these new batteries are spinning, our phones may be even more sophisticated and require even more power, so we can immediately return with the same battery life of one day that we started with.

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