The development of solid-state batteries—an alternative to conventional lithium-ion batteries—is currently underway all around the world. These next-generation batteries feature superior safety, high reliability and longer lifespan by using stable, nonflammable and solid electrolyte material instead of liquid, which eliminates the risk of leakage and fire. TDK succeeded in commercializing the world’s first all-ceramic, solid-state SMD*1 battery, CeraCharge®—an emerging choice for implementation in a wide variety of IoT devices.(Photo courtesy of CookPerfect)
The Next-Generation Solution to Limitations of Conventional Lithium-Ion Batteries
It is no exaggeration to say that as we enter the IoT era—where almost everything is connected to the Internet—high battery performance is essential, in addition to compactness and improved communication capabilities, for various smart devices to become even more prevalent. Lithium-ion batteries, which have high energy density, are commonly used today in various electronic devices such as laptops, smartphones and wireless earbuds, and are increasingly utilized in drones, electric bikes and EVs (electric vehicles). However, because lithium-ion batteries made with flammable, organic-solvent electrolytes carry the risk of leakage and fire, there has been an increasing demand from IoT device makers for the development of safer and more reliable solid-state batteries containing stable electrolyte material. The battery market is expected to grow further, as large-capacity batteries like those in EVs are also expected to be replaced by solid-state batteries in the future.
Features of CeraCharge, the Solid-State SMD Battery Pioneered by TDK
Adoption in Cooking Thermometers
CeraCharge—the safe, chip-sized solid-state battery, is working its way into a wide range of IoT products. One such application is a cooking thermometer product launched in December 2020. This new product—a 15cm metal thermometer probe from CookPerfect, a Danish company that manufactures a line of cooking thermometers—is equipped with five temperature sensors, a BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy)*2 communication module, and TDK’s CeraCharge. The internal temperature of meat being cooked inside an oven can be monitored in real time from a smartphone by simply inserting this probe. This breakthrough product enables one to cook meats like Christmas roasts at perfect temperatures.
Martin Kloster, Co-Founder and Managing Director of CookPerfect, says: “When we began designing CookPerfect in 2016, battery technology was simply not available that would allow measuring at 5 points, run complex algorithms, and could be built into the unit. But with CeraCharge, we could create the first ‘true wireless’ thermometer.” Kloster says reliability and safety are very important, as these thermometers are inserted directly into food and used in high-heat ovens and grills. “There must never be any chemical leakage. We also needed a high operating temperature range that could withstand usage inside ovens. The fact that CeraCharge has no risk of leakage due to its solid form, is small enough to be installed into a 3.7mm-diameter unit, and can withstand up to 85˚C—were major deciding factors in choosing it for our product.”
The advent of a full-scale IoT society is on the horizon as devices with various sensors—like this cooking thermometer which combines temperature sensors with communication capabilities—continue to proliferate. Along with the growing need for batteries in various sizes and specifications, CeraCharge is currently being considered for integration into a wide variety of devices, including real-time clocks (RTC)*3 for smart meters, wearables, and smart sensors.
TDK, the first in the world to commercialize solid-state batteries, continues to work on expanding its lineup of products with increased miniaturization and capacities to cover a wider range of applications. CeraCharge will continue to support the rapidly expanding IoT market.
- Surface Mount Device (SMD): An electronic component that is mounted on a printed circuit board using solder. This method uses less space than mounting components with leads on a printed circuit board that has holes, enabling the miniaturization of devices.
- BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy): A part of the Bluetooth standard, the short-range wireless communication technology. Because of its low power consumption and low cost, it is garnering attention a communication technology for use in IoT devices.
- Real Time Clock (RTC): A circuit embedded in a computer or device that continuously measures the passage of time even if the system power is turned off.