Lenovo shares proprietary battery technology with PC industry
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., 28 Aug. 2006 -- In the interests of public safety and improving the level of engineering in notebook personal computer designs worldwide, Lenovo today announced that it would take the unusual step of sharing its proprietary battery design technology with the PC industry.
The release of information, which Lenovo is providing to industry standards groups, means that Lenovo notebook PC technology designed to minimize risks of overheating in lithium ion batteries will become available for adoption by any company. Recent recalls have focused on battery cells themselves. Lenovo's view is that the industry must also focus on the way notebook PCs actually use the batteries. For this reason, Lenovo is taking the step of sharing its technology and encouraging other PC companies to do the same. Lenovo has no plans to recall notebook PC batteries at this time.
"Battery design is an issue of crucial importance to business and computing," said Peter Hortensius, senior vice president, Lenovo notebook business unit. "As the personal computer business examines standards and design criteria for the best use of lithium ion batteries, Lenovo is contributing its engineering and design leadership. No make of battery is 100 percent immune from failure, but Lenovo strongly believes in safety first. These engineering specifications show our approach to battery management, and we believe they will move the PC industry as a whole toward safer battery standards."
Lenovo specifications being provided to industry standards organizations provide details of Lenovo battery designs including redundant protections, failure detection, thermal conditions and protection, charging methodology, voltage protection, and mechanical design.
Recent recalls of batteries by PC companies other than Lenovo have raised awareness of safety issues in lithium ion batteries, such as metallic impurities in individual battery cells introduced during the manufacturing process. Lenovo's engineering and development teams have identified two other important issues: the notebook PC's method of charging the battery and the design of the notebook battery package. Lenovo engineering specifications will further educate the industry about the issues of battery pack design and charging methodology.
Background on the Use of Lithium Ion Batteries in Notebook PCs Lithium ion batteries used in notebook PCs consist of a single package of three, six, or nine cylindrical cells, each approximately the size of a tube of lipstick. Each cell consists of a cylinder containing a spiral roll of anode, cathode, separator immersed in electrolyte solution. The cells are configured into a formation, often of two cells in parallel forming a block, with three blocks in a series. In addition, a Battery Management Unit (BMU), a specialized microprocessor, is packaged with the battery and manages battery operations. These operations include safety features, cycles, and charging methods.
Lithium ion technology is currently used in notebook PC batteries because of its high energy density, light weight, and excellent recharging characteristics. The PC industry views lithium ion technology as superior to older nickel cadmium or nickel metal hydride technologies, because it has greater capabilities in handling increasing demands for electrical power to support computing features such as wireless connections and display graphics. Lithium ion technology can become volatile when overcharged or exposed to excessive heat.
Lenovo plays a leading role in all international industry standards groups focused on battery specifications, including the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Underwriter's Laboratories (UL) and IPC.
About Lenovo Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) is dedicated to building the world's best-engineered personal computers. Lenovo's business model is built on innovation, operational efficiency and customer satisfaction as well as a focus on investment in emerging markets. Formed by Lenovo Group's acquisition of the former IBM Personal Computing Division, the company develops, manufactures and markets reliable high-quality, secure, and easy-to-use technology products and services worldwide. Lenovo has major research centers in Yamato, Japan; Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, China; and Raleigh, North Carolina. For more information, see www.lenovo.com .