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At long last, new lithium battery tech actually arrives on the market (and might already be in your smartphone)

Amprius, a battery startup based in Silicon Valley, is making waves with a new kind of lithium-ion battery that stores around 20% more energy than batteries currently on the market. Unlike most battery breakthroughs that we write about on ExtremeTech, this one is actually here today: Amprius is already shipping its batteries to some smartphone makers, and has recently secured $30 million in funding to develop next-generation batteries that will store 50% or more energy than the current Li-ion batteries. This is massive news for mobile computing, but also for electric vehicles, where energy density per kilo (weight of the battery) is a major factor in the development of long-range EVs.

It isn’t often that we get to write about an actual, honest-to-God, on-the-market battery breakthrough — but it’s definitely not a coincidence that the founder of Amprius, Stanford’s Yi Cui, has been the star of more battery stories on ExtremeTech than any other researcher (by some margin). Yi Cui was the mastermind behind the silicon nanotube anode, the transparent lithium-ion battery, and the everlasting water-based battery. None of those techs are ready for commercial use, though. Instead, Amprius is commercializing something that’s a bit simpler: lithium-ion batteries with a silicon anode (negative; cathode is positive), rather than standard-issue graphite (carbon).


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