Li-Ion battery technology is chemically very different from previous battery technologies. All batteries, rechargeable or not, depend on specific, and often proprietary, combinations of different chemical elements. The voltage and charge capacity of each product are the result of those combinations.
The Li-Ion battery chemistry provides greater chargeable capacities from both gravimetric (watt hours per unit weight) and volumetric (watt hours per volume) perspectives. The chemistry also permits Li-Ion batteries to avoid the “memory” problems typical of Ni-Cad batteries and, to a lesser extent of Ni-MH batteries.
Lithium Ion cells have a nominal voltage of 3.6V or 3.7V versus Ni-Cad or Ni-MH cells of 1.2V or 1.25V per cell. This means that one Li-Ion cell can replace 3 nickel cells.
Arranged in serial or parallel configurations, they can deliver voltage and capacity able to support multiple application requirements that were impractical and/or cost prohibitive with other technologies. Because of their higher energy output per volume, Li-Ion cells are also more adaptable to extremely thin form factor batteries.
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