Qualcomm's Rezence-Based 'WiPower' Can Charge Metal Phones Wirelessly

Qualcomm, along with Samsung, were among the original founders of the Alliance For Wireless Power (A4WP) consortium, which created the Near Field Magnetic Resonance wireless charging standard called "Rezence." The standard is also backed by Intel, Powermat and tens of other companies.

Qualcomm has now come up with its own implementation of the standard called WiPower, which can change even metal devices, something that wasn't possible with other wireless charging technologies until now. With more devices adopting metal bodies lately, it became necessary for Qualcomm to find a solution to this problem.

"Building a wireless charging solution into devices with metal exteriors is a significant step for moving the entire industry forward," said Steve Pazol, General Manager of Wireless Charging, Qualcomm Incorporated.

"Today, more device manufacturers are choosing to utilize metal alloys in their product designs to provide greater structural support and, of course, aesthetics. QTI's engineering advancement eliminates a major obstacle facing wireless power and opens up the continued adoption of this desirable feature to a much wider range of consumer electronics and use cases."

According to Qualcomm, Rezence has allowed devices to charge with metal objects in their magnetic charging field without affecting the charging process, but thanks to WiPower, smartphones or tablets that are made of metal can also charge wirelessly now, themselves. This improvement in the Rezence technology maintains WiPower's existing ability to push up to 22W at speeds that are equal to or faster than competing wireless charging technologies (likely referring to Qi here, even though Qi may still be more efficient in how much power it uses to charge a device).

The Rezence-based WiPower system can charge multiple devices at once within a limited (but still larger than Qi) area by linking the power transmitter to devices through Bluetooth Smart.

WiPower is already supported by the Snapdragon 810 chip, so in theory we should start seeing Snapdragon 810-powered devices come out with WiPower wireless charging soon.

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Lucian Armasu
Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers software news and the issues surrounding privacy and security.