New CAP-XX supercapacitors target LED flash applications

Sept. 13, 2007
Supercapacitors with improved temperature and voltage performance will enable high-quality LED flash and other mobile applications.
CAP-XX Limited has expanded its product line of ultra-thin supercapacitors, which boost power delivery in mobile devices to enable new functionality (for example high-quality LED flash) and extend battery life (see Supercapacitors brighten prospects for power LED flash in camera phones).

The HS and HW supercapacitors feature an extended operating and storage temperature of up to 85°C, and higher operating voltage of 5.5V for dual-cell versions.

"These ruggedized supercapacitors support the most environmentally-demanding, power-hungry mobile phone applications," said Anthony Kongats, CEO of CAP-XX. "The higher voltage enables high-power LED Flash for better pictures, and can double audio power for richer-sounding music. The new high-temperature threshold assures reliability, even in a phone left in a car on a hot day."

According to Stuart Robinson, director of handset component technologies for Strategy Analytics, "Consumers want their cellphones to be as good as their digital still cameras and produce clear pictures even in low light. We estimate that over the next three years high-powered LED flash in cellphones will grow at an annual average rate of 155%, and will be in over 70% of all camera phones by 2010."

Robinson described CAP-XX supercapacitors as a technology enabler for this market. "We have seen them power multiple high-current LEDs to full light intensity, producing clear pictures in low light from up to 3 meters away. I expect their new higher-voltage models will make the results even better."

Supercapacitors deliver 100x the power of batteries and store 10,000x more energy than conventional capacitors. They store electrical energy during periods of low-load power, and then release it in quick "bursts" during peak-power events, supplementing power from the source and smoothing out voltage fluctuations.

CAP-XX supercapacitors benefit from a unique nanotechnology construction which packs the highest energy and power densities into thin, lightweight, prismatic packages that will fit into slim portable devices. They store charge on nanoporous carbon electrodes on aluminum foil, arranged in multiple layers and connected in parallel to minimize the resistance and maximize the capacitance of the device.