Tag: ‘Hitachi’

Portable fuel cell powered by water and aluminum

24 Apr 2006

On April 24, Hitachi Maxell announced the development of a fuel cell battery that relies on water and aluminum to generate electricity.

Portable fuel cell

Measuring 16 (H) x 10 (W) x 6 (D) cm (6 x 4 x 2.5 inches), the simple, low-cost device produces an average of 10 watts of power. The company claims to be working on developing it as a power source with up to 100 watts of power, and they hope to see the fuel cell use recycled aluminum scrap.

The device is described as a type of proton-exchange membrane fuel cell that generates power by combining hydrogen with oxygen in the air. Separate cartridges contain aluminum and water, and hydrogen is generated as water is gradually added to the aluminum. With 20 grams (0.7 ounce) of aluminum, a laptop can be powered for 4 to 5 hours.

[Source: Nishinippon Shimbun, Hitachi Maxell press release]

Stacks of ultra-thin DVDs approach terabyte level

20 Apr 2006

On April 19, Hitachi Maxell, Ltd. announced the development of new volume optical storage technology that can provide terabyte-level storage capacity in a compact device. Relying on unique nanoimprint technology, the company has succeeded in reducing the thickness of DVDs to 0.092 mm (92 micrometers) -- which is 1/13th the thickness of current DVDs -- while maintaining the standard capacity of 4.7 GB.

Hitachi Maxell's thin DVD

The system features what the company calls Stacked Volumetric Optical Disc (SVOD) technology, which consists of 100 ultra-thin optical discs (12-cm in diameter, the same as current DVDs) loaded into a 6.5-cm (2.5-inch) thick cartridge. The result is a compact optical disc library system (1/10th the conventional size) capable of combining random access memory and long-term storage.

When laminated on both sides, disc capacity will reach 9.4 GB, bringing the 100-disc cartridge up to near-terabyte level with 940 GB of storage. The company claims that next-generation blue laser technology could boost cartridge capacity to 5 terabytes (50 GB for each double-sided disc).

According to Hitachi Maxell, potential applications of this storage media include library systems for business and institutions. While continuing to investigate other applications, the company aims to cultivate the market by presenting this technology at academic conferences and exhibitions.

The discs will be priced at under 40,000 yen (US$325) for a stack of 100.

[Source: IT Media, Hitachi Maxell press release]