IEEE to Revise Laptop Battery Standard

Following the recent high-profile cases of laptop batteries exploding and the resulting unprecedented recall of over 10 million batteries, the IEEE announced this week plans to revise its laptop battery standard to make them more reliable while improving performance.

The IEEE is a globally recognized standards organization, which has a portfolio of over 870 completed standards and another 400 in development. The original laptop battery standard, IEEE 1625, was first approved in 2004. It defines controls for battery design and manufacture, as well as verifying quality and reliability.

The revision of the standard is expected to take another 18 months, and will include lessons learned in the development of IEEE 1725, a standard for cellular phone batteries.

"We believe that the IEEE-SA and its 1625 Working Group, working with IEEE-ISTO (IEEE Industry Standards and Technology Organization) and other organizations, should evaluate compliance,” said Chuck Adams of IBM who chairs the Corporate Advisory Group at IEEE-SA.

The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) recently established a compliance program regarding the IEEE 1725 standard, and is seen as a potential parter for evaluating compliance of IEEE 1625 laptop batteries.

According to the organization, "IEEE 1625 adopts a systems approach by addressing the battery envelope from cells to the mobile computers they power, both alone and in concert. It encompasses such areas as battery pack electrical and mechanical construction, cell chemistries, packaging, pack and cell controls, and overall system considerations."

Apple, Dell, Gateway, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Lenovo, Panasonic, Sanyo, and Sony have reportedly all expressed interest in participating in the new revision. The 1625 working group will meet bi-weekly in the United States and Asia, with the first meeting scheduled for next week at Intel's campus in Santa Clara, California.

The IEEE is also currently developing 1825, a standard aimed at mobile batteries in digital cameras and camcorders.

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