Intel backs notebook smart battery standard

Intel this week lent its weight to the cause of intelligent batteries. The chip giant yesterday said that it will back the Smart Battery System (SBS), an attempt to gauge the power left in batteries in mobile PCs and provide other diagnostic information.

Intel this week lent its weight to the cause of intelligent batteries. The chip giant yesterday said that it will back the Smart Battery System (SBS), an attempt to gauge the power left in batteries in mobile PCs and provide other diagnostic information.

SBS batteries contain microprocessors which report capacity and other status information to the host PC. They are intended for use in notebook PCs and other mobile devices. Although so-called smart batteries aren't new, they have so far failed to become a standard in the industry thanks to fragmentary take-up by key players. That could change now that battery giants Duracell, Energizer Power Systems, Toshiba Battery Co. and chip companies such as Intel, Mitsubishi and National Semiconductor are among those behind the new standard.

Microsoft will add driver support for SBS in its operating systems from the second half of 1997. Furthering the smart battery cause, Intel last week released its free Power Monitor software. The tool - used by Microsoft, Corel and Lotus - can detect and fix software code that cripples mobile PC power management features.