There's a big difference between "smallest" and "small enough," but SAIT and Samsung SDI might've just crossed the gap with their new joint-developed fuel cell mobile charger. The device, which the companies claim is the world's smallest fuel cell charger yet, can pump 2W of juice, and supposedly charges mobile devices in 1/5 the time of competing offerings. At 5.3 ounces, and measuring a mere 5mm thick, it shouldn't be much of a problem at all to slip this into your bag, letting you extend the life of your PDA, phone, camera or PMP. In tests the charger has completed 200 continuous charges, and is nearly ready for market -- with over 120 patents involved in making this thing tick. The unit is based on small user-replaceable methanol cartridges, providing "limitless" power if you're willing to spring for enough fuel cartridges. There's no exact word on when these things will hit retail shelves, but Samsung expects chargers like this, along with fuel cell-based laptop batteries to be commonplace in 2-3 years.

[Thanks, Mike]

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SAIT and Samsung team for smallest fuel cell charger