Chip makers Intel, STMicroelectronics and many other industry figures have formed an industry standards group, the Mobile PC Extended Battery Life Working Group, with the aim of speeding up the development of longer lasting fuel cell power sources for notebooks and other mobile computers. The Group has recently published a document detailing the requirements for such fuel cells, and it is hoped that these guidelines will help developers of fuel cells for mobile devices by outlining key technical requirements.
Currently, technology does exist that would permit the use of a fuel cell inside a notebook PC, however there quite simply is not enough juice in the cell to keep the average system happily running. A 10-watt to 12-watt cell is currently possible, but that would not be enough for today's power hungry machines that utilise DVD drives, powerful graphics and so forth. But with the Working Group aiming to bring us a fuel cell that is powerful enough and small enough to be used in mobile computing, it may not be long before powerful fuel cells for mobile computing are available.