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IEEE plans safer laptop batteries

Body overhauls production standard

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) plans to revise its standard for laptop battery production. The organisation - globally recognised as a standards-setting body - is doing so to "further safeguard the reliability" of batteries used in laptop computers.

The revision will be part of what IEEE calls the "Livium" family of battery standards, and will be created within the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) Corporate Program. The organisation anticipates completion of the project within 18 months.

The standard being revised is known as IEEE 1625 - "IEEE Standard for Rechargeable Batteries for Portable Computing" - approved in 2004. It offers guidelines for battery design and manufacture, and provides ways that companies can evaluate and qualify such batteries, including verifying their quality and reliability.

It's been a tough year for laptop batteries, particularly those made by Sony. Millions of Sony's batteries have been recalled by a number of laptop computer makers, including Dell and Apple, because of the risk that those batteries may overheat.

Edward Rashba, New Technical Programs manager at the IEEE-SA, said that Apple and other companies "have indicated strong interest to participate" in the revision to IEEE 1625.

The group will meet bi-monthly in the US and Asia to complete the work, starting later this month at Intel's offices in California.

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