Solar Power Gets Bigger as Products Get Smaller


Solar power continues to conquer the world of mainstream consumer culture; just check out these two nifty little products that run on the power of the sun. Electronics makers A-Data Technology and Micro-Star International (MSI), both based in Taiwan, are introducing new solar-powered flash-based memory systems later this week at CeBIT, an annual trade show for information and telecommunications technology in Germany. A-Data will launch the Solar Disk thumb drive equipped with a solar cell module. The drive does not have a built-in battery; the solar cell powers its LCD display to show remaining capacity. The product supports USB 1.1/2.0 connectivity and it is expected to be generally available in April. It will come in 128MB, 256MB, 512MB, 1GB and 2GB models, and they claim it's the first such drive to operate without any internal battery.MSI will be debuting their prototype for a solar cell-equipped MP3 player at the show. This concept MP3 player uses the solar module to charge the built-in lithium battery and provide supplementary power to extend battery life. Solely relying on the solar cell to charge the battery would take two days under ordinary outdoor light and a fully charged battery allows ten hours of playback. Details on this one are a bit sketchy, as it's still a concept and isn't in production just yet; anyone who happens by the show is welcome to drop in and check it out for us. Thanks to Dhiram and Marzoo for the tips, respectively. CeBIT, ::DigiTimes via and ::Music Gizmos