and Samsung have been working on ways to rid customers of traditional
lithium-ion batteries used in notebook computers. Both companies are looking
towards fuel cells and the technology is very promising.
Samsung displayed a version of its Direct Methanol Fuel Cell
(DMFC) in late December that was capable of powering a Q35
ultra-portable notebook eight hours a day for a month. The fuel cell, which
contained an energy density of 650Wh/L and total energy storage of 1,200Wh, was
contained in a rather large box that was nearly as wide as the notebook and
roughly twice as tall.
Samsung has made great strides to perfect its DMFC and recently
showcased an even smaller design at its company showroom. Samsung appears
to have shaved a few inches off the device in length/width/height. The DMFC now
looks to be roughly the size of a couple of extended batteries stacked side by
Samsung reports that the fuel cell is still capable of
operating a notebook for up to a month.
Despite the advances being made in fuel cell technology, we
are still a few
years away from fuel cells being commercially viable.
"Though we still need to solve ‘going smaller and
sturdier’ issues, I think that we have made a technical quantum leap in
commercialization," said SAIT VP Dr. Hyuk Change in November. "Within
2~3 years, the fuel cells including those for laptops currently in development
with Samsung SDI will be widely used as it is forecasted to acquire a stable
market with lower price lines."