Toshiba lithium-ion battery recharges in a New York minute

A new lithium-ion battery from Toshiba sucks up juice at 60 times normal speed, recharging 80% of its capacity in just a minute. Heck, it takes longer to cook a hard-boiled egg. Longer to make tea. Longer for most men to, um, ah, remember their girlfriend's birthday. Potential applications include things as small as cell phones and as large as automobiles.

The prototype, less than a millimeter thick, was demonstrated in a hard-disk music player. It charged 5 milliwatts in 5 seconds and powered the player for 10 minutes. Toshiba says it performs well at extreme temperatures, both high and low. Nanoparticles and various new materials are responsible for the breakthrough.

Toshiba closed its battery-making subsidiary last year and sold its plants to Sanyo. Somehow, battery manufacturing has become unfashionable — go figure. So it's uncertain who will actually produce the new wonder batt.

Toshiba press release, via EETimes