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Analysis: Safety and the lithium battery

Min Xu, Technical Marketing Engineer at Monolithic Power Systems, discusses some of the most common battery-charging faults that pose safety issues to both the device and to the end users.

Lithium batteries – such as lithium ion (Li+), lithium-iron phosphate (LiFePO4), and lithium polymer (LiPo) – have gained greater market traction in portable battery-powered devices thanks to their greater energy densities, larger number of charging cycles, and lower energy dissipation rate than other common rechargeable battery technologies, including nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) and nickel cadmium (NiCd).

However, the technology poses significant challenges to electronics designers. One issue stems from a lack of substantive standardization across lithium battery designs.

Another issue stems from lithium-b
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