Feature Article

May 09, 2012

Qualcomm, Samsung Introduce the Alliance for Wireless Power

A handful of vendors, including Qualcomm and Samsung, have come together to form the Alliance for Wireless Power. The initiative was announced this week at CTIA in New Orleans.In addition to Qualcomm and Samsung, the A4WP membership also includes Ever Win Industries, Gill Industries, Peiker Acustic, Powermat Technologies, and SK Telecom.

A4WP is an industry association open to all companies interested in advancing wireless power by delivering specifications that permit spatial freedom, says Edward G. Tiedemann Jr., senior vice president of engineering and Qualcomm fellow. Spatial freedom, he explains, offers the ability to charge multiple devices simultaneously, so users can walk in a house or an office and easily set down their headset, smartphone or other wireless device to charge anywhere there is a charging pad, rather than having to use electrical outlets.

The group, he adds, will have three key thrusts. That includes a technical standards program; a testing, certification and regulatory program; and a technical marketing and communications program.

“The key aspect of this is to develop the ecosystem,” adds Tiedemann.

Specifications as the current group visualizes them, he says, will address frequency of operation, minimum power delivery requirements, coexistence, modes of operation, signaling protocol, and compliance testing procedures. The group does not expect to define antenna specs, receiver and transmitter design, load control mechanism, regulatory compliance, or battery-related requirements.

The first deliverables of A4WP are expected to include core interoperability specs, which are expected by end of year, and a certification program, which is likely to be in place toward the end of 2012 or early 2013.

A separate group, called the Wireless Power Consortium, has presented a wireless power specification known as Qi. But Joonho Park, senior vice president of the standards and technology enabling team at Samsung, says the A4WP approach is better because it’s based on newer technology and allows multiple devices to work on its charging pads.

According to Jason dePreaux, an analyst with IMS Research, the volume of wireless power receivers is forecast to grow at an annual rate of more than 100 percent over the network five years. He says annual shipments of receivers are projected to reach 100 million by 2015, and 1 billion by 2020.

Edited by Carrie Schmelkin

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