This year has been one of growth for wireless charging. From standards consolidation and expanded availability, to new device launches and the promise of a wire-free world, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. (“Qualcomm”) has been at the center of innovation. After more than eight years actively working to bring flexible wireless charging mainstream, we have once again attained a significant milestone for Qualcomm WiPower technology; Qualcomm has cracked the code to enable wireless charging through devices made of metal, including smartphones and tablets.
Up until now, smartphones with a metal design could not be charged wirelessly—the know-how simply did not exist. Today, Qualcomm becomes the first company to announce a solution.
This solution is based upon the existing WiPower technology reference design, already Rezence-certified by the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP). It is engineered to maintain all the benefits of a resonant-based system, namely, the ability to simultaneously charge multiple devices with varying power requirements on the same charging area. Resonant technology also allows devices to charge at a distance from the charging area, making it less cumbersome to include wireless charging in furniture and automobiles, among other areas.
While WiPower and other solutions available from A4WP are unique in their ability to tolerate metal-based objects such as keys and coins within the charging area, until now this same characteristic did not apply when wrapping a device in metal. With the Qualcomm solution, we expect the adoption of wireless charging to accelerate by removing a previous barrier for phone designers.
This innovation further strengthens the Qualcomm WiPower technology portfolio. In fact, a recent report by LexInnova, a patent analysis firm, shows Qualcomm Incorporated possesses the strongest patent portfolio amongst the companies evaluated. According to its LexScore framework, “Qualcomm is the only assignee lying in the green region of the chart and it can be assumed that it dominates the domain in terms of intellectual property.”
Existing WiPower licensees have access to the full suite of WiPower reference designs, including the schematics needed to enable wireless charging in metal backed smartphones and other devices.
The roster of WiPower licensees is growing. These include key consumer electronics accessory manufacturers, Tier One and Tier Two automotive suppliers, furniture manufacturers, and more. These licensees are in addition to Qualcomm Incorporated’s 3G/4G patent licensees that may have access to patents that apply to WiPower technology through their subscriber unit license agreements
Wireless charging for metal devices: another innovation enabled by Qualcomm. Learn more about Qualcomm WiPower here.