Top 10 Wireless Charging Developments in 2012

December 26, 2012 by Jeff Shepard

Wireless charging will be a fast-growing segment of the power electronics industry in 2013. Significant developments began accelerating last year. The following "top 10" developments selected by the PowerPulse editors highlight important trends in wireless charging that will continue in 2013 and beyond.

10: Efficient Power Conversion Announces WiTricity Demonstration System Featuring High-Frequency Gallium Nitride (eGaN) FETs

Efficient Power Conversion Corporation (EPC) announced a high efficiency wireless power demonstration system utilizing the high frequency switching capability of gallium nitride transistors. eGaN® FETs from EPC are well suited for these systems because of their ability to operate efficiently at high frequency, voltage, and power.

Highly resonant wireless power transfer was invented by the founders of WiTricity and WiTricity licenses its intellectual property to companies seeking to build products based on this exciting new technology. Capable of transferring power over distance, WiTricity technology enables a wide range of consumer, medical, industrial and automotive applications. Products using highly resonant wireless power transfer can meet stringent regulatory guidelines, and is safe for people and animals.

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9: ON Semiconductor Introduces High-Efficiency Wireless Charging ICs

ON Semiconductor has released the NMLU1210, an innovative power MOSFET integrated circuit (IC) for wireless charging applications in portable products such as cell phones, media tablets, portable media players, digital still cameras and GPS units. The NMLU1210 is a 20V N-channel full bridge semi-synchronous rectifier, that incorporates a dual Schottky barrier diode supporting up to 3.2A operation plus two MOSFETs with a 17mΩ (ma") (typical) Rds(ON) to minimize conduction losses and substantially increase efficiency of the charging system.

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8: Toshiba Launches High-Current Chipset for Free Positioning Wireless Charging

Toshiba Electronics Europe has announced a free positioning wireless charging chipset consisting of a high-efficiency power transmitter and receiver for charging smartphones and other mobile products anywhere on the battery charging pad. The Toshiba chipset is fully compliant with the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) Qi interface specification, A4, A8, A12 and A14. It includes the TB6865FG power transmitter and TB6860WBG receiver and features a two-coil control architecture for cost-effective battery charging.

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7: TI Transforms Mobile Charging with Wireless Power

Texas Instruments Incorporated introduced its first single-chip wireless power receiver with integrated battery charger and a new "free-position" transmitter integrated circuit, which expands the charge area by 400 percent. The two bqTESLA™ circuits give smartphone users a simpler, stress-free charging experience and help designers implement wireless power technology in more places, such as automotive consoles, charging pads and office furniture.

TI's bq51050B is the industry's first Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) 1.1 Qi-compliant wireless power receiver with integrated direct battery charger, and enables faster, more efficient charging of smartphones, wireless keyboards and other portable electronics. The unique 20-V receiver combines rectification, voltage conditioning, communication control and Li-Ion charging capability in a single, tiny integrated circuit, eliminating the need for a separate battery charger circuit. The inductor-free, single-stage design delivers the industry's highest system efficiency and saves up to 60-percent board space compared to a multi-stage implementation.

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6: IDT Expands Wireless power Portfolio with the "Most-Integrated" Power Transmitter Solutions

Integrated Device Technology, Inc. (IDT) announced what is claimed to be the industry's most integrated wireless power transmitter solutions optimized for the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) Tx-A5, Tx-A6, and Tx-A11 configurations. The new products expand IDT's portfolio of WPC Qi-compliant magnetic induction transmitters with solutions optimized for single-coil 5 V and three-coil 12 V applications.

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5: UL Offers the Qi Logo Certification Service for Wireless Charge Devices

Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (UL) has commenced a logo certification service for the wireless charging standards, "Qi". UL Japan has become Japan's first company to be certified by Wireless Power Consortium ("WPC") as a third-party certification organization. WPC formulates the international standards for wireless charging compatibility of mobile devices and promotes dissemination of these standards. To display a Qi logo on a product, passing a qualification exam conducted by an accreditation organization is required. "Qi" is the international standard for wireless charging by the electromagnetic induction method, and was formulated by WPC in 2010. Qi-certified products can be charged with any types of Qi-certified rechargers, irrespective of the manufacturers.

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4: Global Technology Power Players Unite to Form Alliance for Wireless Power Creating Spatial Freedom in Consumer Electronics Charging

Wireless technology specialists Samsung and Qualcomm Inc. have joined other technology leaders to form the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP). The independently operated organization's mission is to promote global standardization of a wireless power transfer technology that offers spatial freedom, to develop product testing, certification and regulatory compliance processes, and to foster industry dialogue with regulators on wireless power policy development. The alliance is targeting a broad base of consumer electronic devices to establish a worldwide wireless power technology ecosystem. The A4WP will focus on a new wireless power transfer technology that provides spatial freedom for charging of electrical devices in cars, on tabletops and for multiple devices simultaneously.

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3: Wireless Power Consortium Extends Qi Standard to Include Longer Range Magnetic Resonance Wireless Charging

TheWireless Power Consortium announced that the Qi open wireless charging standard is capable of providing full support and compatibility for longer-distance magnetic resonance technologies. Wireless charging stations such as those that can be built into furniture, tabletops, cars, or found in charging pads, typically use magnetic induction or magnetic resonance transmitters to send power to the portable devices they're charging. Having the flexibility to choose from multiple transmitter designs allows companies to offer a wide range of Qi product types in consumer electronics, home appliances, furniture, automotive and other markets.

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2: Alliance for Wireless Power Rolls Out Flexible Wireless Power Specification

Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) announced that the technical working committee has approved a more flexible wireless power specification that will allow consumers to charge their mobile devices on a variety of compatible surfaces. The A4WP specification is based on a concept of spatial freedom, which extends wireless power applications beyond the accessory or add-on market to fully integrated solutions in the device as well as surfaces such as furniture and automobiles. The A4WP specification brings a number of unique benefits to the wireless charging ecosystem.

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1: IEEE Power Matters Alliance Opens for Business

IEEE announced the Power Matters Alliance (PMA) is now opening its doors to new members. Approved as an IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) Industry Connections program, the PMA is an alliance of leading industry and governmental organizations dedicated to advancing smart and energy-efficient wireless power, known as Power 2.0. Vint Cerf, IEEE Fellow, chief Internet evangelist for Google, who is also widely acclaimed as one of the "Fathers of the Internet," has been appointed honorary PMA chairman.

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