A Closer Look: Wireless Charging Might Just Free You from 'Cable'

Wireless charging allows a mobile device to be charged through electromagnetic induction without wires attached. But how?

29 May 2014

No one denies the blooming of mobile device usage which has lasted for more than a decade. This "blooming" usage also has triggered the transformation of traditional electronic product manufacturing to now include the peripheral devices such as like keyboards and headphones. These new products expand smartphone connectivity as well as facilitating our daily life and usage of social networks.

With such a high usage of data, power consumption of the smartphone and other devices is extremely demanding. Product developers are constantly challenged with improving the life span of a battery and creating energy saving solutions. Thus, making the use of cable for charging still an issue to users. But how does all of this get solved?

A new technology called 'wireless charging' is one solution. Wireless charging allows the mobile device (or associated peripheral device) to be charged through electromagnetic induction without wires attached. In principle, one charging platform will be the primary charger for most devices, as long as the power level and its charging protocol is within the scope of the charger. Today, there are third party testing laboratories which provide testing services of the wireless charger according to the unique industry standard, "Qi" (pronounced as "Chee"). "Qi" is an interface standard developed by the Wireless Power Consortium for inductive electrical power transfer over distances of up to 4 cm (1.6 inches). More than 200 companies have enrolled with the Consortium with members spanning across a number of industries including: mobile manufacturers, carriers, the automobile, appliance and information and communications technology (ICT) markets. The approval processes for achieving this industry standard include:

  • Compliance Testing
    • System Description Wireless Power Transfer, Vol I: Low Power, Part 3: Compliance Testing
  • Inter-Operability Testing (IOT)
  • Certification

What questions do you have regarding this topic? Please leave your comments below and one of our experts will get back to you.

Today's expert blogger is Daniel Yau, Vice President of the electrical business at Intertek Hong Kong. Daniel has been with Intertek for fifteen years and has worked for the testing and certification industry for more than twenty years.