Apple Supplier Develops Solid-State Battery Breakthrough With 100x Higher Energy Density

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TDK, an Apple supplier based in Tokyo, Japan has announced a breakthrough for its solid-state battery technology. The company says it has managed to develop a new material that will allow these batteries to attain “an energy density of 1,000 Wh/L, approximately 100 times greater than the energy density of TDK’s conventional solid-state battery.”

The company was able to achieve this breakthrough by using lithium alloy anodes alongside an oxide-based solid electrolyte. TDK says that “the use of oxide-based solid electrolyte makes batteries extremely safe.” Safety is just as important as the extended use time as these batteries are designed to be placed in wearable devices, such as smartwatches and wireless earphones.

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The next steps in developments will be working towards mass production, including the package structure design and the developing actual battery cells. Other improvements TDK is aiming for are increasing the capacity even further using multi-lamination layering and widening the operating temperature range. These improvements will make these batteries more attractive to companies in the wearables space, as customers are constantly hoping for better battery life and use the devices in a variety of climates.

Apple is potentially a big winner with this news, as it has several products that can make of these batteries, including the Apple Watch and Apple AirPods. For example, the Apple Watch Series 9 currently claims a battery life of up to 18 hours, which is less than ideal. If the company is able to reach 48 hours or more in a future smartwatch it would help reaching potential buyers who have been put off a purchase due to what they view as insufficient battery life.

Hopefully TDK is able to reach mass production sooner rather than later, and possibly continue development so that these kinds of batteries can make their way to bigger devices such as smartphones.