Earlier this year, it came out that the Galaxy S6 would support all three wireless charging standards: Qi, PMA (Power Matters Alliance) and Rezence. Today, Mediatek announced that it's going to offer the first multi-mode wireless charging ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) to other OEMs interested in having the same kind of support for wireless charging as the Galaxy S6.
Over the past few years, there has been a fight for dominance of the two main wireless charging standards: Qi and PowerMat. Qi started appearing in popular devices owned by many people, while PMA was being pushed by other larger companies such as AT&T and Starbucks.
Then the self-proclaimed "next-generation" Rezence magnetic resonance standard appeared, which promised to completely discard the idea that you need to wirelessly charge your device on top of a fixed equipment.
In reality, Qi and PMA, which use magnetic induction charging, don't seem like revolutionary technologies that promise to set us free from the tyranny of cables, when you still have to put your device on top of something that has a cable. The difference in convenience between doing this and just introducing the cable into your phone's port isn't that big.
Rezence aimed to allow smartphone users to leave their devices in a general area close to the wireless charger. For instance, if a charger is installed into a table, a smartphone user could simply leave the device anywhere on the table, and it would charge. This could impact the charging rate and effectiveness, but the Rezence standard uses Bluetooth Smart connections to pinpoint where the devices are located and establish a more clear charging path to them.
The Power Matters Alliance (PMA) has recently merged with the Alliance For Wireless Power (A4WP), which is behind the Rezence technology, so that made the fragmentation issue a little smaller. The Qi standards still exists, though, and chip makers such as Mediatek and OEMs such as Samsung seem to have decided to just put the two together as well.
Mediatek's new MT3188 ASIC that will support all three standards is already in mass production, and we should see products incorporating it within a few months.
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But in the case of wireless charging, you still have many devices that can only take advantage of one or two standards, meaning that there's fewer manufacturers for end users to choose from if their handset only supports Qi.