Samsung sees A4WP wireless charging as the future

March 27, 2013

Tesla CoilSource: Wired

Wireless charging is becoming an increasingly popular feature in top of the line smartphones. The new Galaxy S4 comes with built in wireless charging, but Samsung doesn’t see the Qi technology (the current standard found in most wireless charging products) used in its new flagship handset as the long term solution.

Last year Samsung Electronics and Qualcomm partnered up to form the Alliance for Wirless Power (A4WP), which has since been developing and promoting its new wireless charging specification called WiPower. Although the technology has been in development for a while, this week Samsung stated that it intends to make Qi-based charging obsolete when it releases products using its own WiPower compatible devices.

There are some pretty significant differences between Qi and WiPower, both in terms of how they work and what they allow consumers to do with them. Design wise, WiPower is based on magnetic resonance charging where as Qi is based on magnetic induction. What this means is that Qi requires contact, or a very short distance, between the device and the charging mat, where as Samsung’s new technology can charge devices when they are theoretically several feet away from the power source.

Ok in reality that doesn’t mean that you’ll charging phones between rooms, but a charging box or small charge transmitter on your desk with the range of several inches or a foot is quite possible.

wireless_charging_diagram

Wireless charging using magnetic resonance.

Another major difference between the two, in terms of consumer usage, is that the WiPower specification allows for simultaneous multiple-device charging from a small source. As the technology allows for greater distances between the phone and charger you can theoretically charge an unlimited number of devices at once, as you aren’t limited by charge mat space. However connecting multiple smartphones or tablets will mean that the charging power is shared, increasing the time needed to fully charge each device.

Michael Lin, a principal engineer at Samsung Electronics, had this to say about WiPower adoption:

“From Samsung’s standpoint, with as many phones as we sell, we can increase [adoption] of the standard and really create an ecosystem for wireless power … and create interoperability across the industry,”

So there’s a very good chance that all future flagship Samsung smartphones, but sadly not the Galaxy S4, will ship with built in “true” wireless charging. If all goes to plan a wider variety of technological goods may also adopt the A4WP standard in the future.

According to Michael Lin, smartphone manufacturers won’t begin shipping WiPower enabled phones or charging pads this year. But if manufactures stay on schedule and begin production in the second half of this year, then we could see the first compliant devices appear in 2014.

Comments

  • http://www.facebook.com/abdulrahman.aljassar Abdulrahman Al-jassar

    Samsung FTW

  • Quryous

    .

    Why is it that the better ideas always seem to come out late, after lesser ideas have had time to get established. Samsung, get a move on.

    No mention of it, but is Qi and this tech incompatible?
    .

  • http://twitter.com/Darkmyth_pt Darkmyth PT

    mmm electromagentic waves in my brain 24/7….

    • http://twitter.com/danmcsw danmcsw

      If you aren’t living inside a lead box, that has been happening anyway for decades.

      • http://twitter.com/Darkmyth_pt Darkmyth PT

        thought the same… but i think this ones might be a bit stronger… i dont know if im excited or afraid

  • http://www.facebook.com/stefan.dragicevic.75 Stefan Dragicevic

    tesla did this shit 112 yr’s ago,fuck samsung and Capitalism

    • http://twitter.com/Gilles__LeBlanc Gilles LeBlanc

      Not so much atleast now the market is allowing for wirekess charging. Though it did take 112 years…. k your right f capitalism…

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=714859472 Rajvir Singh

      So if it was that easy why didn’t you start up a company and start making custom WiPower adaptors and chargers?

      • http://www.facebook.com/stefan.dragicevic.75 Stefan Dragicevic

        It seems that you really don’t understand how the world works…

        • Jhon Hammond

          Speak for yourself.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=714859472 Rajvir Singh

          It seems like you don’t understand how technology works…
          No one is claiming they have “invented” wireless charging (Only Apple can do that), Samsung realizes that today’s standard Qi charging isn’t Good enough solution and they want to push for the next standard.. I consider this as Sammy & Qualcomm honoring Nikola Tesla’s work, so why the hate!??

    • Rob Triggs

      FYI JP Morgan (the venture capitalist) was Tesla’s only major financial backer, giving him $150,000 (which was an awful lot of money in 1900) to build the Wardenclyffe Tower.

    • Miguel Angel Cadavid Parra

      Talking sh*t about capitalism from his phone/PC because f*ck logic

  • CoCoFaux

    Qi wireless power is truly the best feature I’ve had on my smartphone for the past two years. Makes charging super convenient It’s one of those things that you don’t realize how nice it is until you have it.

    I’m not sold on the A4WP having a superior technology. To me, it seems that the technology will be more expensive and has more technical hurdles to clear before making mainstream. Whereas Qi is already being backed by a hundreds of companies and is already being integrated into phones (HTC DNA, HTC 8x, Nokia Lumia 920, etc..).

    In the end, I think A4WP is in trouble when Samsung sells millions of these and all of the sudden everyone has a base compatible to Qi already inside their house or office (or even car!!!).

    Seems like Samsung is telling their consumer, “Here buy this accessory because we can make it today, but it won’t be compatible the next time you buy a new phone!!!” Sounds familiar to some other company that recently screwed over millions of purchased accessories by changing a charging connect #LightingFail #QiUpUrLife