Consumer Technology

Published on January 14th, 2014 | by James Ayre


Improved Electronic Energy Efficiency Thanks To New Laptop Adapter From MIT

January 14th, 2014 by  

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have created a new, novel circuit design that promises to greatly increase the energy efficiency of a number of widely used consumer electronic devices.

To showcase the new circuit design, the researchers at MIT have created what is now “the world’s smallest laptop adapter” — an adapter that is only about ¼ of the size of a typical laptop brick. This rather compact charger is capable of running at higher frequencies than normal adapters, as well as possessing the ability to capture and recycle energy that is lost in typical traditional circuit designs.

Image Credit: FINsix

TreeHugger provides more:

Professor David Perreault (MIT) has come up with a novel circuit design that has led to the creation of the world’s smallest laptop adapter that runs a quarter of the size of the typical laptop brick. This small charger is able to run at higher frequencies (between 30MHz and 300MHz — a thousand times faster than conventional adapters) thanks to technology that recycles power that is usually lost in traditional circuit designs. The higher frequencies plus the reclaimed power could lead to more efficient electronic devices.

The 65 watt adapter, being made by startup FINsix, can also charge tablets and smartphones because it comes with a USB connector. It can even charge more than one device at once. The ability to run at higher frequencies allows the adapter to be smaller in size, which means less material and ultimately lower cost. This new technology can be used in more than just laptop chargers, but also could be used to make larger appliances like air conditioners and washing machines more efficient.

The adapter is currently expected to hit the market sometime towards mid-year 2014 — as of now it’s unknown what the pricing range will be like. The technology was showcased at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas where it was featured as an Engineering Award winner.

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About the Author

's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

  • JamesWimberley

    About time. It’s noticeable that Apple manages to make chargers much smaller and neater than its competitors have done up to now.

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