I don’t know about you, but holding a slab of red-hot metal to my ear is not my idea of fun (unless I’m taking part in a Spanish Inquisition reconstruction, in which case it’s no-holds-barred, baby); as cellphones advance in processing power, however, the amount of heat pumped out as a byproduct is growing along with it. I’m no scientist, but I foresee a time when each handset comes with an asbestos helmet for you to use with it; that is, unless NEC’s bioplastics researchers have their way.
Bioplastics are derived from environmentally sustainable plant sources like fermented corn and kenaf fiber, and the company already uses the material in its cellphone range. Their latest development, however, concentrates on its heat-conducting ability; able to transfer heat faster than stainless steel, this would allow for phones, laptops and other portable electronics to be thinner than ever, thanks to removing the current bulky heat-sinks and fans.
Concept proved, the focus now moves to reducing material cost to make bioplastics attractive to other manufacturers.