- AMD is launching new laptop chips that boast longer battery life.
- New battery technologies could also prolong the life of gadgets.
- Enovix’s batteries are designed to deliver high energy density without compromising safety.
Get ready for laptops that may be able to run for days at a time.
AMD says its new laptop chip is 30 percent faster than Apple’s M1 Pro and claims it will have up to 30 hours of battery life. It’s one of a growing number of innovations that prolong battery power and may change how you use everything from gadgets to electric vehicles.
“It’s clear that the longer a laptop battery lasts, the more productive we can be,
Sandy Fliderman, the president of Industry FinTech, told Lifewire in an email interview. “And, the more mobile we can be in doing what we do. Cord cutting is as important for power as it is for media consumption. It untethers us from having to sit near available outlets.”
AMD’s new Ryzen 7040 series of processors are intended for ultrathin notebooks. The company says the chip is 34 percent faster in multiprocessing workloads than the M1 Pro and 20 percent faster than the M2 in AI tasks.
“With the new Ryzen AI technology built into our Ryzen 7040 Series Mobile processors, we will bring not only leadership performance and power efficiency but also the power of artificial intelligence to laptop devices, ushering in a future with powerful new capabilities that only true AI hardware can provide and opening the door to a new world of experiences,” Saeid Moshkelani, senior vice president and general manager, Client, AMD said in the news release.
Fliderman said that one advantage of longer battery life is the ability to build more powerful laptops. Advanced microchip and display technologies require ever more power, he pointed out.
"Laptops are designed based on minimum user utilization of at least 3 hours between charges," he added. "More powerful batteries, especially while also reducing weight, will drive innovation for more powerful processors and dynamic displays. The goal is to have laptops' performance exceed what's available in desktops."
Other companies are also trying to make laptops run longer with new battery technologies. Enovix recently showed off its new batteries, designed to deliver high energy density without compromising safety. The company says the batteries used laser-generated 3D architecture that provides more efficient use of the battery volume. The new batteries use silicon to store lithium ions instead of the more commonly used graphite anode.
The development of practical high-performance solid-state batteries can also lead to the development of advanced electric vehicles.
“Coupled together—our new cell design plus our 100% active silicon anode—and we believe it’s the most significant advancement in battery technology in our lifetime,” Ashok Lahiri, Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder of Enovix, said in the news release.
The Future of Battery Tech
New technologies may soon allow batteries to power laptops longer than previous generations. Scientists are experimenting with different chemical salts to reduce the reliance and limitations of the Lithium Ion compositions, Fliderman said.
"This effort is being led by materials scientists using new approaches to manufacture advanced material compounds," he added. "Recent results have indicated, for example, that a Sodium Sulfur (Na-S) advanced composite has the potential to reduce costs and expand battery length by a factor of 4x."
Another new technology that shows promise is solid-state batteries (SSBs). While conventional lithium-ion batteries contain a liquid electrolyte in which lithium ions flow during the charge/discharge process, SSBs are made entirely from solid materials. Besides offering a safety boost—since these batteries won't spill toxic liquids when punctured—SSBs can be charged much more quickly.
But SSBs have suffered from a durability problem. When lithium ions are inserted into or extracted from the electrodes of the battery, the crystalline structure of the material changes, making the electrode expand or shrink. A team of researchers says they have discovered a new type of positive electrode material with better stability in SSBs.
“This finding could drastically reduce battery costs,” one of the researchers, Neeraj Sharma, said in a news release. “The development of practical high-performance solid-state batteries can also lead to the development of advanced electric vehicles.”
Technology commentator Waseem Mirza told Lifewire via email that if new battery technology successfully extends the life of gadgets, “it could finally allow us to work from anywhere without having to worry about taking the laptop charger with us for day or weekend trips away from the office. A long battery life would also allow us to avoid charging to 100% all of the time, giving the laptop a longer lifespan without having to replace the pack.”
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