Motorola investing in Fuel Cell tech for small devices

It looks like Motorola is investing in a company that develops fuel cell technology for small devices.

According to the article the cells provide…

in the power range of milliwatts to 50 watts and energy range of 10 to 100 watt-hours. Several products and markets fall within these power and energy levels including: industrial handheld computers, satellite communication devices, notebook PCs, and other mobile products.

Power sourcing for small electronics is one of the MAIN design constraints these days. One of the benefits has been that engineers have become very energy hawkish in the design of small battery powered electronics because there have been two sides to the equation (always are), power and consumption. The engineers can address consumption to a point and power has been a limiting factor. I hope as new power technologies are developed that the engineers don’t become jaded and waste what’s been learned in optimizing for consumption.

Something like that happened in software design. There was a time when every bit of memory was very valuable, software engineers had to be careful in their design to get the leanest program possible to achieve their goals. Now with both physical RAM and storage space so plentiful it’s hard to find programs that are as lean as possible to achieve their goals. Instead we have programs which install hundreds of MB’s of data to replace products that did a similar job in hundreds of KB’s of data.

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