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Qualcomm makes strategic investment in safe battery technology company Amionx

Qualcomm has made a strategic investment in Amionx, a leader in safe battery technology. As part of its investment, Qualcomm President Derek Aberle will join the board of directors of Amionx.

Amionx is a spinout from American Lithium Energy (ALE) which was originally founded in 2006 by Dr. Jiang Fan and Dr. Robert Spotnitz—both widely recognized as foremost experts in battery technology. (Dr. Fan is CTO for Amionx.) ALE has been designing, manufacturing and supplying batteries to the Department of Defense for more than ten years. Amionx has pioneered and patented a technology called Safe Core that acts like a circuit-breaker to prevent lithium-ion batteries from being the source of a fire or explosion.

The Amionx technology prevents lithium-ion batteries from being the source of a fire or explosion due to three primary causes: overcharge, internal short, or external heat. Amionx Safe Core is focused on safety from the core of the battery outward and works even when other safety measures fail or are not activated. Safe Core is applicable to other chemistries, as well as solid state.

Safe Core activates by trigger of temperature, current or voltage thresholds. The implementation of Safe Core into existing battery manufacturing factories requires no additional capital cost and adds at most minimal cost to the bill of materials for the battery. Amionx is in the process of licensing its patented Safe Core technology for use in lithium-ion batteries globally.

Side-by-side demonstration of a typical lithium-ion battery versus one equipped with Amionx Safe Core. Both batteries were charged to 12V at a 1C rate until either the cell caught fire or failed safely.

We are excited about the potential for Amionx Safe Core to deliver significant value to suppliers and consumers of lithium-ion batteries across multiple industries. The fact that Safe Core can be implemented easily into the existing battery manufacturing process and at such low cost will help drive widespread and rapid adoption. Additionally, we believe Safe Core can open new product opportunities for lithium-ion batteries where safety concerns have limited their use to date.

—Derek Aberle, president, Qualcomm Incorporated


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