Rival Wireless Charging Groups Merge For Unified Standard

by CXOtoday News Desk    Jan 06, 2015


Wireless charging, an exciting yet much-unexplored component in mobile technologies is expected to see some developments in the coming days, as two major groups involved with wireless charging technologies have agreed to merge into one organization to create a unified standard.

The Alliance for Wireless Power, or A4WP, and the Power Matters Alliance, or PMA, that were rivals until now, believe the merger will close by the middle of 2015, and plan to chose a new name for the combined group. The A4WP is spearheaded by Samsung Electronics and Qualcomm, while the PMA is supported by Duracell and key partners such as AT&T.

Wireless charging uses an electromagnetic field to transfer energy between two objects. This is usually done with a charging station, says Wikipedia. Energy is sent through an inductive coupling to an electrical device, which can then use that energy to charge batteries or run the device.

With the advent of wireless charging users can place their mobile device on a charging pad to recharge its battery. Until now, most mobile devices with wireless charging capabilities run on a different technology championed by the Wireless Power Consortium, which doesn’t work with the PMA charging pads. To make a phone compatible with a PMA pad, a person would have to add a special charging case or a charging dongle. The merger as experts believe could go a long way toward the industry settling around a universal standard.

The two groups had agreed to collaborate on technology in February last year, but the talks of combining their different standards into one were getting delayed. According to analysts, the mobile industry will have more confidence in investing in a single technology and this will also boost adoption.

“The best-in-breed combination of A4WP and PMA assures decision-makers throughout the industry of responsible stewardship of these essential contributing technologies,” Ron Resnick, president of the Power Matters Alliance told Reuters.

While it remained nascent so far, Freescale ecently introduced a new wireless charging system that enables a 15-watt wireless charging pad for tablet, and possibly even laptop. Their products are also expected to hit in the first quarter of 2015.

The biggest advantage of wireless charging is that there is no need to constantly plug and unplug the device, there is significantly less wear and tear on the socket of the device and the attaching cable. However, due to the lower efficiency, devices take longer to charge when supplied power is equal. It is also more expensive and these deterred its adoption.

However, with a unified standard and greater adoption, analysts expect to see more developments in wireless charging in the coming years.