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Samsung inks exclusive alliance with fuel cell startup

Posted: 22 May 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Mark LaPedus? Samsung Electronics? MTI MicroFuel Cells? micro fuel cells?

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd announced an exclusive alliance with MTI MicroFuel Cells Inc., a supplier of micro fuel cells for mobile applications.

Under the plan, MTI Micro will develop next-generation fuel cell prototypes for Samsung's mobile phone business. MTI Micro's direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) technology, dubbed Mobion, has been chosen to power a series of prototypes for Samsung's mobile phone and mobile phone accessories.

The two companies will develop, test, and evaluate Mobion technology for various mobile phone applications. Upon successful completion of this agreement, MTI Micro and Samsung intend to continue to work together by entering into a product commercialization agreement.

Others are also looking for alliances in the arena. Seeking to solve the growing "energy gap" in portable systems, Motorola Inc. last year made a strategic investment in Canada's Tekion Inc., a fledging developer of a hybrid fuel cell and battery technology for mobile products.

Still some dismiss the technology. As more functions are embedded in mobile phones, the communications industry faces a power consumption problemand it can't be solved by fuel cells or other battery alternatives, according to Yrjo Neuvo, formerly executive vice president and CTO for Nokia Mobile Phones and a current technology adviser to that company, in a recent presentation.

Frost & Sullivan, an industry research firm, forecasts the market for micro fuel cells for consumer electronic devices to reach approximately 80 million units by 2012.

- Mark LaPedus
EE Times

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