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Tuesday, 08 May 2012 08:15

Samsung & Qualcomm lead wireless charging alliance

Samsung and Qualcomm along with Gill Industries, Peiker Acustic, Powermat Technologies and SK Telecom have set up the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP), an organisation to promote global standardisation of wireless power transfer technology for mobile devices.

The organisation (https://www.a4wp.org) aims to develop product testing, certification and regulatory compliance processes and to foster industry dialogue with regulators on wireless power policy development. It says it is "targeting a broad base of consumer electronic devices to establish a worldwide wireless power technology ecosystem…[and] 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."

Claimed benefits of the initiative include: "A transmitter and receiver antenna design that is easily implemented, a simple wireless power control system and the ability to transfer power through non-metallic surfaces."

A4WP says it expects to achieve this capability without the need for costly multi-coil repeaters, which are required for other systems. "A single specification is envisioned that will address simultaneous charging of multiple devices ranging from very low power products, such as Bluetooth headsets to today's most sophisticated tablets."

The A4WP says membership is open to new members and it welcomes participation from vendors in all segments of the potential ecosystem including handheld devices, consumer electronics, semiconductor products, automotive, furniture, test equipment, cellular operators and retail.

According to the analyst firm IMS Research, shipments of wireless power enabled devices are projected to surpass 100 million by 2015. Jason dePreaux, a research manager at IMS Research, said: "Wireless power has the potential to increase convenience and improve the user experience in consumer devices like mobile phones by untethering the charging process. For these benefits to be realised, wireless power infrastructure must be deployed to enable wireless charge points in the home, at work, or while travelling without concern for compatibility. Industry alliances will play a critical role in developing this infrastructure."

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