Feeds

Wireless-charging power struggle latest: Qualcomm invades rival to kill upstart

Chip giant disguises itself as a Trojan horse

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Despite founding a wireless charging standards body - the Alliance for Wireless Power - chip-designer Qualcomm has joined the board of competing body the Wireless Power Consortium in the hope of trouncing a third rival, the Power Matters Alliance.

Qualcomm joined the board of the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) last week, but has now told electronic engineer mag EE Times that the plan is to work from the inside to merge the two standards. This could deliver a fatal blow to the upstart Power Matters Alliance, despite the apparent incompatibility between the WPC and the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) that Qualcomm leads.

The WPC standard is the only one of the three competing standards for proximity charging actually built into hardware. Its Qi standard has been integrated into handsets from Nokia, Samsung and Google, but in founding the Alliance for Wireless Power with Samsung in 2012 Qualcomm seemed to have rejected the Qi standard as inferior and was set to go its own way.

Samsung is also a member of both standards, though not on the board of the Consortium. The Register asked Samsung about its divided loyalties when the Galaxy S4 was launched with Qi support (via an optional replacement back) and were told that different devices would require different technologies – Samsung's way of saying it would be betting on all the horses in the race to ensure victory.

Qualcomm is being more explicit in its intentions: "Qualcomm aims to provide the opportunity to standardize around a single global implementation of resonant wireless power technology by working more closely with other industry innovators," the company told EE Times, going on to say that the WPC has already extended its standard to incorporate some of the advantages of A4WP.

Chief amongst those is the ability to charge at a distance, as much as 10cm. Which might not sound like a lot, but opens the potential to charge a pocketed phone from a car door, or the arm of a chair, so the user never has to remember to charge their device at all.

Qi has extended in that direction, but not by as much as A4WP. As it operates on an entirely different frequency the possibilities for compatibility are limited.

Meanwhile, A4WP still says devices will be forthcoming next year, while the Power Matters Alliance points out its chargers are in Starbucks – even if one has to buy a special phone case to use them (though just to confirm Samsung's polyamorous nature one can get a replacement back for the S4 supporting Power Matters).

Kit supporting A4WP is due out next year, but with both the founders playing the field only Intel seems to be staying loyal to the most-technically-advanced form of wireless charging, and punters are still deafening in their ambivalence to the whole idea. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Chipmaker FTDI bricking counterfeit kit
USB-serial imitators whacked by driver update
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.