Texas Instruments (TI) said on Monday that it is developing wireless charging chips that support multiple protocols. Products based on this multi-mode solution are expected to arrive later this year, the company said.
According to TI, these multi-mode wireless power integrated circuits (ICs) will support wireless charging using both current and future versions of the Wireless Power Consortium's (WPC) Qi standard, and the new Power Matters Alliance (PMA) wireless charging specification, Power 2.0. The Qi standard is already supported by more than 120 companies, and is the basis of TI's current chip on the market, the bq500410A.
"We are shipping wireless power circuits to most major handset makers. And those companies continue to develop phones that support WPC's Qi, which is currently the most mature and accessible design standard," said Sami Kiriaki, senior vice president of TI Power Management.
The Qi specification requires that a compatible device charge on a surface area of at least 70-mm by 20-mm via magnetic induction. This method doesn't require a wired connection, but rather a transmitter coil and a receiver coil to transmit power. A magnetic field that's generated by alternating current in the transmitter actually induces a voltage in the receiver coil.
TI also said on Monday that it plans to develop products that support the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) magnetic resonance specification. The A4WP is a group of electronics companies that includes Samsung, Qualcomm and others who are focused on advancing spatial freedom in wireless power. That said, this spec takes a different approach to wireless charging.
Unlike the Qi spec which relies magnetic induction, the A4WP specification uses magnetic resonance to charge a device in close proximity: up to around 1.5-inches away, in fact. Thus a tablet or smartphone can be charged when placed next to a laptop sporting resonance charging capabilities without having to be seated directly on a charging platform.
"With A4WP and PMA entering the wireless power space, we naturally expect a need for multi-protocol solutions, and are prepared to address this need," Kiriaki added.
For more information about TI's wireless power solutions, head here.