Texas Instruments Joins Alliance for Wireless Power

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News Posted: Sat, Dec 8 2012 10:48 AM
Wireless power feels like one of those technologies that really should have taken off by now, but it just hasn't. And it's really tough to pin down exactly why that's the case. Every year about this time, usually during the CES before-and-after period, we start to hear rumblings all over again. Now, Texas Instruments is announcing that it has joined the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP). TI will continue to develop new bqTESLA wireless power receiver and transmitter integrated circuits that comply with existing and future versions of the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) Qi standard, and also create products that support the A4WP magnetic resonance specification.

Organized in April, A4WP is a group of electronics companies, including Samsung, Qualcomm and others, focused on advancing the field of wireless power by delivering a specification that permits spatial freedom. The group officially released its A4WP specification, which is based on loosely coupled magnetic resonance technology, to simultaneously charge smartphones and other portable electronics with different power requirements.


In other words, TI now has its toes in two wireless power groups. Perhaps that's the issue here; too many groups trying to accomplish the same general thing. At any case, it'll be interesting to see what TI brings to this table, and if we'll see any of it in consumer form at CES 2013.
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The technology behind wireless charging isn't overly difficult, and we've had the technology for... well probably since electricity was invented.  Hell, Tesla invented wireless power before we even had wireless anything.  The issue has been the cost associated with the devices currently on the market today.  I've considered buying the powermat often times seen at department stores, but why am I paying you $100 to charge my phone wirelessly, when I still have to have it sitting on a mat?  This is no different than having to plug it in. 

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OSunday replied on Sun, Dec 9 2012 1:43 AM

Oooh some backing by TI ought to put some muscle to the wireless power movement

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dugwood2 replied on Mon, Dec 10 2012 12:46 PM

I agree whole-heartedly. The powermat is/was not worth it. However, a wireless car battery charger might get me interested. You see, I am disabled (paralyzed and wheelchair bound) but I still drive with hand controls. i am unable to open the hood to my van. Something like that would not only be convenient, it would be very helpful. If something like the powermat was made that transmitted in a radius of 50 feet or more and could charge different devices then I would buy that as well. Just for the convenience. It would be nice to have your cell phone or tablet charging the whole time you are using it in the house. I could see that taking off it the bugs could be worked out. Maybe a small receiver that plugged in your device where the charging cord/ micro USB plug goes. That would be nice. Anyone else have an idea of something that could benefit from wireless power?

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OSunday replied on Mon, Dec 10 2012 1:03 PM

The only thing is I don't know how healthy it is for the battery to be constantly charging and that would also increase the energy consumption if it were to be constantly charging.

I agree that a powermat's application is ideal for a car since your limited on space and the more cables to the more clutter.
It would be awesome to see some sort of powermat integrated with Bluetooth or something to stream audio as well since that would pretty much be an all in one suite for stereo's since most people want a may to charge their phone and play music while in the car 

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Dorkstar replied on Mon, Dec 10 2012 1:10 PM

OSunday:

The only thing is I don't know how healthy it is for the battery to be constantly charging and that would also increase the energy consumption if it were to be constantly charging.

I agree that a powermat's application is ideal for a car since your limited on space and the more cables to the more clutter.
It would be awesome to see some sort of powermat integrated with Bluetooth or something to stream audio as well since that would pretty much be an all in one suite for stereo's since most people want a may to charge their phone and play music while in the car 

Well in reality this no different then you home power supply.  The only difference is wireless power transmits a fequency which resonates a coil and generates electricity.  Either way, when the device reaches a full charge, that power supply is still plugged in, and generally the remaining power is either sent back to ground or sent through a huge resistor to kill off any remaining electricity.  The only thing here, is that the wireless charger would somehow need a signal from the device saying that it's reached a full charge, and it can stop charging now, otherwise it would continually charge and the mobile device's circuitry would handle the over charge internally. 

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