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Freescale touts 15W wireless charging

Posted: 09 Dec 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:wireless charging? Qi? WCT1012? WCT1111?

Freescale boosts its wireless charging portfolio by releasing a new set of receivers and transmitters aimed at larger phablets, tablets and handheld medical equipment. The chips are the first to handle up to 15W using the Qi technology defined by the Wireless Power Consortium.

"Today's mobile products offer a broader range of features, functionality and form factors than ever before, requiring developers of wireless charging systems to accommodate larger batteries and enable faster recharge speeds," Denis Cabrol, Freescale's MCU group director of global marketing and business development, said in a release.

Freescale's WCT1012/WCT1111 transmitter chips!offered in standard and premium versions!and its WPR1516 receiver chip are geared for mobile devices with bigger batteries. They enable a recharge that's up to three times faster than 5W predecessors, said Freescale's Randy Ryder.

"In a typical 5W system that's producing 1A current, you can charge in one hour. With 15W, in theory, you could cut that charge time by a third by improving power," Ryder, wireless charging lead for Freescale's microcontroller division and a representative on the Power Matters Alliance, told EE Times.

 Transmitter block diagram

Transmitter block diagram. (Source: Freescale)

The Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab have approximately 12W power ratings, which have yet to be addressed by existing wireless charging devices. The 15W spec will also enable mobile phones that have fast charging capabilities, a capability expected to grow rapidly in 2015, according to IHS analyst Ryan Sanderson who shared his thoughts on the news with EE Times:

  • I personally believe there is more value in a wireless charger at 15W that can charge multiple devices of different power classes in multiple scenarios than one that is just targeted at charging media tablets. If the solution can charge your media tablet (at 12-15W), your phone (with a choice of standard or fast charging) and a wearable device (which could be anything from 0.5W to 3W+) at the same time and manage this process, I see that as a valuable product.

The 100MHz transmitter runs an ARM M0+ core with less than a 30mA loop current, a low power sweet spot Ryder attributes to its use in power-supply applications. The core also has some DSP functionality, which helps reduce system losses and improve charging capability.

Freescale's premium transmitter allows for additional programmability, access to flash on the chip and extra IOs to build applications such as a charger that supports multiple devices at once. The receiver supports LDO and buck output power topologies.

Medium power receiver

(Source: Freescale)

The Freescale chips support two standards based on magnetic induction using closely coupled coils!Qi and a separate spec from the Power Matters Association. While Ryder believes the bridge products similar to those from MediaTek will become commonplace, Freescale's devices don't support the resonant standard of the Alliance for Wireless Power that uses loosely coupled coils.

"Inductive charging produced a pretty healthy ecosystem. We're seeing the adoption rate increase because cost is coming down and technology has improved a lot in terms of efficiency and value," Ryder said. "Road maps from the industry focus on two key targets: extending power levels beyond 5W and including resonance as part of the specification," he added.

Freescale will sample boards and controllers in the first quarter of 2015 and has done limited sampling with unnamed customers. Ryder said the company has early engagements with phablet producers to test the 15W technology.

- Jessica Lipsky
??EE Times

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