Abstract There is an ever – increasing demand for more powerful, compact and longer – life power modules for portable electronic devices for leisure, communication and computing. Micro fuel cells have the potential to replace battery packs for portable electronic appliances because of their high power density, longer operating and standby times, and substantially shorter recharging times. However, fuel cells have stringent operating requirements, including no fuel leakage, water formed in the electrochemical reactions, heat dissipation, robustness, easy and safe use, and reliability. Due to the large market potential, several companies are currently involved in the development of micro fuel cells. For application of fuel cells as a battery charger or in a battery replacement market, the cells require simplification in terms of their construction and operation and must have volumetric power densities equivalent to or better than those of existing battery power packs. This paper discusses results of investigation on methods and materials for direct hydrogen micro fuel cells as well as the lifetime performance of single cells and 2 W e arrays. The paper also reviews the global technology development status for the direct hydrogen micro fuel cell and compares its salient features with other types of micro fuel cells.