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Advancing Lithium Microbattery Technology

Wearable and hearable devices have grown significantly in the past decade. In fact, just from 2021 to 2022, the growth rate was 41.51% and it is anticipated to rise another 18% compound annual growth rate through 2026. Still, challenges remain such as energy density and charging capabilities—and many tech companies and manufacturers are working to solve existing hurdles in this market.

Li-on (lithium-ion) microbattery has limitations that prevent product manufacturers from meeting demand for new features and better charging capabilities.

Recently I discovered a company called, Ensurge Micropower that hopes to be at the forefront of solving this problem with its solid-state lithium microbattery technology. The company suggests it offers twice the energy density and three times the charging speed. The CEO is even the founder of Electric Revolution Ventures. I am inspired by the passion to spark the battery, semiconductor, and EV space.

Ensurge reports it has developed a solid-state lithium microbattery that can be manufactured using a standard roll-to-roll manufacturing process rather than in a zero-humidity and argon-based production environment. This, combined with high-density cell-stacking and advanced packaging techniques, enables customizable microbattery form factors and more energy capacity than Li-ion in a smaller package with faster charging.

What’s more, the microbattery provides both the power and capacity for longer spans of wireless connectivity and higher current pulses for wireless transmission. It can be assembled into wearable and hearable products using the same standard SMT (surface mount technology) as other electronic components, unlike Li-ion batteries that require a coin cell socket to be manually assembled or soldered onto the PCBs (printed circuit boards).

Anode-less solid-state lithium chemistry and the use of its own roll-to-roll processing facility allow Ensurge to scale production in a conventional manufacturing environment. Charge, discharge, and EIS (electromechanical impedance spectroscopy) results show the fast-charging capability of the Ensurge microbattery achieves 80% of capacity in less than 20 minutes. Additionally, data shows the Ensurge microbattery core cells have achieved hundreds of cycles in the last few months.

While this is simply one example, the bottomline is technology is continuing to advance, offering new opportunities to both businesses and consumers. When it comes to wearables and hearables, we need energy-dense, rechargeable products that are always on.

With this technology in hand—and who knows what other innovation will be on the horizon—we will be able to advance our digital and health products and sensor solutions, enabling many to age-in-place at home much longer than previous generations. We will be able to imagine our final days, in our homes, the ways many have always wanted. And with these emerging solutions aging in place can truly happen. We also give consumers the power to track and manage their health in their own hands.

But all of this needs to start with innovative minds looking to solve some of the challenges that remain with today’s technology. As progress is made, new innovative opportunities will emerge for all, offering a more connected tomorrow for many generations to come.

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