Toshiba shows prototype fast-charging laptop battery

Toshiba's fast-charging SCiB battery will last longer and endure more recharge cycles than current lithium-ion cell; it's also safer and won't explode when crushed

Toshiba showed off a prototype of its fast-charging SCiB battery designed for laptops on Tuesday, but said the technology is still a ways off from making its way into computers.

SCiB, or Super Charge Ion Batteries, are designed to recharge to 90 percent capacity within 10 minutes, and will last longer and endure more recharge cycles than current lithium-ion batteries.

SCiB are also safer and will not explode when crushed, as lithium batteries may, Toshiba said. This is because SCiB batteries use a material with a higher level of thermal stability and are designed with safeguards against short circuits or overheating.

SCiB batteries can endure 5,000 to 6,000 recharge cycles, compared to around 500 cycles for standard lithium-ion batteries, according to a Toshiba executive manning the company's booth at the Ceatec exhibition in Chiba, Japan.

At the show, Toshiba showed a prototype SCiB battery installed in a Dynabook laptop. The laptop was matched against a similar machine with a lithium-ion battery in a demonstration of the SCiB's rapid charging capability.

SCiB batteries were introduced last year, with the first versions designed for industrial applications. The batteries will also find their way into a Cannondale electric bicycle, the Schwinn Tailwind, that will go on sale in the U.S. and Europe next year.

Toshiba did not say when SCiB laptop batteries will hit the market.

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