LONDON STMicroelectronics and Front-Edge Technology, the Baldwin Park, California-based developer of rechargeable batteries, have signed a licensing deal under which Franco-Italian chip maker gains access to FET's NanoEnergy ultra-thin lithium battery technology.
ST will incorporate the FET technology in a variety of products targeted at consumer and industrial markets.
The technology is meant to fill the gap created by conventional energy-storage devices not keeping pace with the demanding size and high-density power requirements of many current electronic devices.
Solid-state thin-film energy cells are said to offer an improved way of storing energy for 'micro-power' devices, such as high-end 'One-Time-Password' smartcards, battery-assisted RFID (Radio-Frequency ID) tags, wireless sensor networks, real-time clock (RTC) back-up batteries, and multiple medical applications, including hearing aids, automatic insulin pumps and wearable health monitoring systems.
"There is large and growing gap between the increasingly fast pace of the proliferation and demands of today's leading-edge portable electronic products and the capabilities of existing energy sources, in performance, operating life and environmental impact," said Carmelo Papa, Executive Vice President and General Manager of ST's Industrial and Multisegment Sector.
FET says its NanoEnergyis the "highest energy density thin-film battery technology in the industry."
A major advantage of the ultra-thin solid-state battery technology is said to be its physical flexibility, enabling different sizes and shapes of 'bendable' batteries, as thin as 200 microns, making it ideal for portable and extremely small form factor devices.
The batterys solid electrolyte is Lithium Phosphorus Oxynitride (LiPON), a material originally developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratories. This is claimed to enable the thin-film FET technology, in comparison with a device with equivalent energy storage capacity, to deliver in the range of 10 to 20 times more power than existing advanced coin-cell batteries.
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