| Christoph Dernbach |
Las Vegas (dpa) – Despite all the bells and whistles mobile phones have added over the years – becoming thinner and faster while sporting new functions like fingerprint sensors – there’s a core of users who yearn for one thing: Longer battery lives.
Short battery life has been a common complaint with smartphones ever since the first iPhone came out in 2007. Many complain that the batteries don’t provide enough power to last a single day, which makes them nostalgic for simple mobile phones that stayed charged for a week.
Intel Manager Renee James recently sat down with dpa to talk about what users can do to get the most out of their smartphone batteries.
Question: Why don’t today’s smartphone have batteries that can last for a week or longer, like the old mobile phones from Siemens or Nokia?
Answer: Well, today’s devices can do a lot more. The multimedia functions especially, like streaming audio or video, take a lot of power.
Q: Who’s focused on saving energy? Is that your role as a processor manufacturer? Or does it fall to the battery manufacturers to deliver batteries that last longer.
A: The problem is more complex than that.
To significantly extend the battery life of a smartphone, various departments have to carefully sign off with one another. First the system designer has to produce a device that has the highest possible energy efficiency.
Then you need developments like the battery’s performance capability. And then the various processors for the communications functions and services have to take up as little power as possible. And then the software has to be right. The programs can’t demand data all the time.
Q: When compared to competitor ARM, you’re not in the lead in energy efficiency. Why didn’t Intel bring energy-efficient chips to the market years ago?
A: There’s a difference between whether someone can’t or whether they didn’t do it for whatever reasons. We were always positioned to build very energy-efficient microprocessors. At one point, Intel invented modern energy management for mobile devices with the Centrino chip family.
But, three or four years ago, we made the decision not to focus particularly on energy-saving chips. It’s different today. We have products on the market that are better at energy conservation then ARM chips.
Q: But we’ll have to keep waiting for a smartphone that has a battery charge that lasts two weeks, right?
A: Yes. We can’t bring it up to that level in the short term.
But there are simple methods to find some power for mobile devices.
That’s why we’ve improved our system for charging smartphones and other devices without cables.
For example, it’s conceivable now for a company to turn an entire table in a conference room into a charging station, so the battery can get power without an external adapter or cable.