Apple and Tesla supplier TDK announces battery breakthrough

Apple and Tesla supplier TDK announces battery breakthrough

TDK Corporation TTDKY, a major supplier of batteries to Apple Inc. AAPL and Tesla Inc. TSLA, has announced a significant breakthrough in solid-state battery technology.

What Happened: TDK, a leading supplier of smartphone batteries, has made a major breakthrough in the materials used in its small solid-state batteries. The company predicts a substantial increase in the performance of devices ranging from wireless headphones to smartwatches, the Financial Times reported on Monday.

“We believe that our newly developed material for solid-state batteries can make a significant contribution to the energy transformation of society. We will continue the development towards early commercialization,” said TDK’s CEO Noboru Saito.

The new material offers an energy density of 1,000 watt-hours per liter, a significant improvement over TDK’s current battery in mass production. The batteries, which are set to be made of an all-ceramic material, are expected to enable smaller device sizes and longer operating times.

Despite the promising breakthrough, TDK acknowledges that larger-sized batteries made from ceramic material may be more fragile. This presents a technical challenge for the mass production of batteries for cars or even smartphones soon.

Kevin Shang, senior research analyst at Wood Mackenzie, a data and analytics firm, stated that the “unfavorable mechanical properties” and the challenges and costs associated with mass production are significant hurdles for incorporating solid-state oxide-based batteries into smartphones.

Earlier this year, TDK’s new line of smartphone batteries garnered widespread attention. The company’s goal was to revolutionize the smartphone market by offering greater power in increasingly thinner devices.

TDK’s latest breakthrough in solid-state battery technology is a significant step forward for an industry that experts believe can revolutionize energy storage.

However, the mass production of larger batteries still presents significant challenges, according to industry experts. Despite this, TDK, with its extensive experience in battery materials and technology, is aiming to lead the medium-capacity market, which includes energy storage devices and larger electronics such as drones.

Why It Matters: TDK plans to start shipping samples of its new battery prototype to clients next year and hopes to move into mass production after that.

The company’s progress in solid-state battery technology is closely watched, with industry experts believing that the most significant use case for solid-state batteries could be in electric cars by enabling greater driving range, according to the report.

Japanese companies are at the forefront of a push to commercialize this technology, with Toyota Motor Co. TM aiming for as early as 2027, Nissan Motor Co Ltd. NSANY the year after, and Honda Motor Co Ltd. HMC by the end of the decade.

Founded in 1935 and renowned as a top cassette tape brand in the 1960s and 1970s, TDK has extensive experience in battery materials and technology. It holds a 50 to 60% global market share in small-capacity batteries for smartphones and aims to lead in the medium-capacity market, which includes energy storage devices and larger electronics like drones.

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