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Move away Lithium-ion, solid-state batteries are on their way, or so say reports. As per what a Samsung SDI executive told Korea Herald, the company might be working to replace Lithium-ion batteries in its smartphones with new solid-state batteries. The executive who belongs to Samsung’s battery division also said that the company might start producing smartphones with solid-state batteries in one or two years.
The basic point of difference between a solid-state and lithium-ion battery is that the former uses a liquid electrolytic solution to regulate current, while the latter uses a solid electrolyte. Solid-state batteries are expected to pack in more storage capacity and provide for thinner smartphone designs, because of the materials used to make them. Solid-state batteries are also expected to be safer, longer lasting and require lesser charge times. However, the technology is expensive to produce in bulk.
As per the Samsung executive, the company is pretty close to perfecting its solid-state battery design for smartphones. “Our technological level to produce a solid-state battery for smartphones will be mature enough in one to two years. However, it depends on Samsung Electronics whether it will be used for phones,” said the executive.
Apart from Samsung, LG is also known to be working on solid-state battery technology. Solid-state batteries are not only purported to appear on smartphones, but are also expected to be featured in drones, wearables and cars. Another recent report from Korea Herald states that Hyundai is working on solid-state battery based electric cars at its Namyang R&D Center.
Given that we are just hearing rumours of the new smartphone battery design, it’s safe to assume that the technology is still a few years from commercial availability. You can also expect solid-state batteries to feature on flagship class devices, given that they are traditionally expensive to produce in high volumes. However, innovation and progress in battery tech has resulted in reduced production costs for solid-state batteries. In fact, equipment maker Applied Materials, also a Samsung supplier, has been working to produce high-precision tools that can help make solid-state batteries cheaper.