Your next mobile charger will be wireless

Do any of these sound familiar? Hanging back in the airport lounge to charge your phone or laptop a few extra percent? Daisy-chaining your phone to your laptop and hoping both last to the end of your call.  Carrying a bag of cables to charge your devices on the go?

Mobile phones cut the telephone cable a long time ago. High speed wireless internet and 4G did the same for data, likewise Bluetooth for audio. However one cable is still left: the power cord – but perhaps not for much longer.

Several brands of mobile phones, including Nokia, HTC and Samsung, already support wireless charging and there are accessories available to add wireless charging functionality to existing mobile devices (by changing the back cover or adding some extra electronics behind the existing back cover). In addition, the coffee chain Starbucks recently announced plans to install wireless chargers in its stores.

How does it work?

Wireless charging isn’t new. The wireless charger in a phone works just like the electric toothbrush you have had for years in the bathroom. It works by creating an electromagnetic field in a coil in the charger that uses either inductance or resonance to send the energy to a coil in the device.

NXP_Qi_Smartphone_charger_concept_study_black (3)The lack of external contacts means that the device can be hermetically sealed. A key requirement for the toothbrush, but also a great benefit for mobile devices, especially the new generation of wearables like watches and health monitors.

However, there have until now been three key challenges for switching to a wireless charger: price, size, efficiency. Our innovative new wireless charging product, the NXQ1TXA5, addresses all these challenges, opening up the possibility for all new mobile devices to be charged wirelessly.

Let’s start with cost. For mobile phone manufacturers to even consider putting a wireless charger in the box with new phones, it cannot cost much more than a normal wired charger. By using an innovative solution based on our advanced Class D amplifier technology, we have developed a single chip solution that slashes the bill of materials for a wireless charger, drastically reducing the number and hence cost of components needed to build one.

Reducing the number of components to a single core IC also addresses the second challenge: size. The circuit for the transmitter has less than ten external components and fits on one side of a 2-layer PCB as small as a five cent coin.

And it’s efficient too, with a no-load power of just 2 mW. That’s almost nothing! And when combined with one of our highly efficient GreenChip power adapters, such as our TEA1720BT SMPS controller, it still comes well within manufacturer’s five star rating for no-load power meaning you can leave it plugged in when not in use.

Of course, the big benefit of wireless charging is convenience. Just place your phone on the pad and it starts to charge. No need to untangle the spaghetti of charging wires, or trying to plug a worn-out charging connecter into your phone’s charging port after having tried it first the wrong way round! So, now that all the major challenges have been overcome with this unique solution, what do you think? Will your next mobile phone charger be wireless?

Rick Dumont
Rick Dumont
Rick Dumont (age 46) is Global Marketing Director at NXP Semiconductors for several emerging business groups including the NXP wireless charging product line, located at the company’s headquarters in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. He has been working at NXP in various positions being closely involved in development of new technologies since 1992, at that time still for Philips Semiconductors, spun off from Philips in 2006 as NXP. Graduated as Master in Electrical Engineering, with a thesis on optical fibre transmission at the University of Eindhoven, he started his career as a development engineer at Philips Semiconductors System Laboratories. Working in development and later in marketing he has been active to develop and bring DECT cordless telephony technology to market, followed by launching NXPs high power RF transistors technology during the mass market adoption of cellular phones from the start of this century. NXPs LDMOST transistors became and still are the leading high volume technology for high power RF applications for cellular base station amplifiers. Several years later he got involved in the transition of analog video to digital video for security cameras, reusing NXP’s video processing technology as built up many years ago for its TV processors; an activity that is currently no longer pursued by NXP. His latest addition in introducing an existing NXP technology into a brand new market is wireless charging, which is soon going to change the way in which smartphone users charge their devices, experiencing the additional convenience of being able to charge their phones by just putting it down on a charging surface at home or on the move.

3 Comments

  1. Avatar Leyli Salmanova says:

    Hi Rick,

    Interesting thoughts! There was quite a discussion on this topic at NXP LinkedIn Group:
    https://www.linkedin.com/groupItem?view=&gid=671067&type=member&item=5889395489463361541&qid=9eb82af7-1c8d-4e51-a103-d9138a0391a8&trk=groups_most_recent-0-b-ttl&goback=%2Egmr_671067

    I was stricken by the fact that no one is using wireless chargers in Boston Starbucks, which are installed there for 2 years now.

    In summary, all sorts of concerns were expressed:

    – carrying another accessory (wireless charger shell),
    – paying the electricity bill (Starbucks doesn’t have this concern but small coffee shops do)
    – does it really bring the value for home users
    – is there successful application model for universities, conference/meeting rooms
    – and of course, data protection, data security and big data – while you are drinking your coffee and charging your phone for free, Starbuck collects data on you!

  2. This is an interesting move. There is a huge market that will welcome this product like South Asian countries where power shortage is very high. They need some of these devices. India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will get great benefit from these devices.

    Overall, this product is useful for anybody living anywhere. This is such a unique and innovative thing that everybody would love to have it. This will ensure that they can have their phones alive all the time.

  3. Bluetooth remote shutter is a cool wireless gadget designed to take your own picture, far from your own device. We are fond of taking our images every time. Well who doesn’t want to capture the best moments of their life, everyone. And now a day’s taking selfies are in vogue, so that must be proper and perfect shot. In most cases when you take a selfie through extending your arm might not give you a perfect picture you want, so in this situation Bluetooth remote Shutter is the best option.

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