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What if you could charge your phone just twice a month?

Photo: The Verge

What if cellphone manufacturers have been approaching their battery problems from the wrong way to begin with?

As it stands, mobile phone producers simply try to jam higher capacity lithium-ion time bombs into cellphones rather than looking at new storage technologies or significantly reducing energy consumption.

Scientists at the Universities of Michigan and Cornell University have developed a magnetoelectric multiferroic material that requires 100 times less energy than traditional processor semiconductors.

Today’s semiconductors require a constant flow of electricity to function correctly, but with this new magnetic material made up of a thin layers of atoms, binary signals can be switched from 0 to 1 (and vice versa) with a very tiny pulse of energy.

Rather than being in a constant on-state, the phone’s processor can be controlled with a series of small pulses of energy, saving lots of energy in the long run.

Unfortunately this battery saving only works with the cellphone’s processor, and doesn’t help reduce energy consumed by the screen, network, WiFi, etc. As a result, the savings benefit won’t be that great versus what we have now. Then we have to factor in shitty lithium batteries. They’re not the greatest as storing energy in the long run.

Researchers would also have to work on a better battery to really benefit from the savings offered by the magnetoelectric multiferroic material.

One step at a time, right?

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