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Ben Heck tears down the legendary Nintendo PlayStation

We got a good, close look at the Nintendo PlayStation last year and even talked to Sony veteran Shuhei Yoshida about it, but have you ever wondered about everything inside the ill-fated game console? Ben Heckendorn, aka Ben Heck, is happy to show you. The homebrew gadget expert has conducted an extensive teardown of the cancelled system (the same one we saw, even) that shows exactly what it’s made of. While it’s evident that Sony had the largest role in the machine, this was very much a collaboration — you’ll find a mix of both Nintendo and Sony chips in this prototype, on top of the occasional third-party component.

Ben also suspects that this PlayStation wouldn’t have fared well even if Nintendo and Sony had put their differences aside. Although it would have had a much faster CD drive than the Sega CD (a whopping 2X!), it otherwise wouldn’t have been any more powerful than the cartridge-only Super Nintendo. That would have put it on par with Sega’s rival unit, or even slightly behind.

This isn’t the end of it. Ben believes he knows enough that he might have a shot at repairing the console (the CD drive wasn’t working when we saw it). If so, it raises the possibility that you’ll witness a fully functional device before long. You might not ever see it play native CD titles, but it’ll bring new life to an important part of video game history.

Source: The Ben Heck Show (YouTube)

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Existing EV batteries could be recharged five times faster

Lithium-ion batteries have massively improved in the last half-decade, but there are still issues. The biggest, especially for EVs, is that charging takes too long to make them as useful as regular cars for highway driving. Researchers from the University of Warwick (WMG) have discovered that we may not need to be so patient, though. They developed a new type of sensor that measures internal battery temperatures and discovered that we can probably recharge them up to five times quicker without overheating problems.

Overcharging a lithium-ion battery anode can lead to lithium buildup, which can break through a battery's separator, create a short-circuit and cause catastrophic failure. That can cause the electrolyte to emit gases and literally blow up the battery, so manufacturers impose strict charging power limits to prevent it.

Those limits are based on hard-to-measure internal temperatures, however, which is where the WMG probe comes in. It's a fiber optic sensor, protected by a chemical layer that can be directly inserted into a lithium-ion cell to give highly precise thermal measurements without affecting its performance.

The team tested the sensor on standard 18650 li-ion cells, used in Tesla's Model S and X, among other EVs. They discovered that they can be charged five times faster than previously thought without damage. Such speeds would reduce battery life, but if used judiciously, the impact would be minimized, said lead researcher Dr. Tazdin Amietszajew.

Faster charging as always comes at the expense of overall battery life but many consumers would welcome the ability to charge a vehicle battery quickly when short journey times are required and then to switch to standard charge periods at other times.

There's still some work to do. While the research showed the li-ion cells can support higher temperatures, EVs and charging systems would have to have "precisely tuned profiles/limits" to prevent problems. It's also not clear how battery makers would install the sensors in the cells.

Nevertheless, it shows a lot of promise for much faster charging speeds in the near future. Even if battery capacities stayed the same, charging in 5 minutes instead of 25 could flip a lot of drivers over to the green side.

Via: Clean Technica

Source: University of Warwick

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