I'm looking into battery charging ICs for a 3.7V Lithium Ion battery, and want to make sure I understand the criteria involved in searching for such an IC.
The obvious one is to make sure the IC is designed with the battery's chemistry in mind (bad idea to charge a Li-ion battery with a lead-acid battery charger), but do I sacrifice anything by choosing an IC that can charge multiple types of battery chemistry? In other words, if I'm already going with lithium ion, would choosing an IC that can also charge lithium polymer be a compromise in any way. If it was, would the compromise be worth it or not?
I've also heard accounts that it's best to match charging current to the mAh of the battery (e.g. 1000mAh battery should get a 1000mA charging current). However, other reading indicates that this is incorrect, and that doing so only speeds up the charging time (and can also produce more heat, to the point of burning out the IC if you aren't careful). Can anyone confirm one way or another?
Next, I want to confirm the something regarding the specified voltage of the battery. Is it better to choose a charger IC based on the battery's maximum voltage or its nominal voltage? Is one or the other safer and/or better for long-term battery life?
Lastly, and this is a little unrelated to the criteria, but if I chose a battery whose current capacity was way in excess of what I need (e.g. 2600mAh when the attached device only draws 5mA and only expected to be powered for 1/2 hours a day), would that be considered wasteful?