Taiwan-based startup Antig Technology plans to commercialize its direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) technology later this year. The company will formally announce its first DMFC product in the third quarter. Shipments are planned to start in the fourth quarter of 2006, Antig said this week at the Taiwan Small Fuel Cells Symposium that was held at Taiwan's Institute of Nuclear Energy Research (INER) in Lungtan, Taoyuan County.
The first product will be a 16W standalone power charger that can be used for recharging batteries of handheld devices, such as MP3 players, mobile phones, GPS receivers, PDAs and portable multimedia players, according to Antig. Called Begini (although this name is not yet official), the device may also work as a secondary power source for laptops when they are powered by internal batteries, extending overall battery life. Utilizing 70ml methanol cartridges, the charger provides output voltages from 5V to 17V, having, as one of its features, ability to power electronics devices through the USB interface. The cartridges will presumably be supplied by France-based BIC, but Antig has not yet officially confirmed cartridge suppliers. Without a cartridge, the Begini charger weighs about 800 grams, and its dimensions are 230Ã—70Ã—80mm.