Print 77 comment(s) - last by eriohl.. on Jun 24 at 4:01 AM

A4WP gains support from an industry giant

It's not at all uncommon in the technology world for multiple organizations to be competing to become the standard for new technology. This went on in the past with the battle between Blu-ray and HD DVD among others. A new battle is brewing when it comes to wireless power with multiple organizations vying to be the standard.

The Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) and has added a big name to its list of supporters: Intel. “In joining A4WP, we look forward to working alongside other member companies and contributing to standards that help fuel an ecosystem of innovative solutions capable of simultaneously charging a range of devices, from low-power accessoriesto smartphones, tablets and Ultrabooks," said Navin Shenoy, Intel vice president, PC client group and general manager, mobile client platform division.

The Alliance for Wireless Power has a goal of creating a "flexible wireless power" specification wireless charging that will become an industry standard.

A4WP claims to have 50 members including some major companies in the technology realm including Broadcom, Delphi, LG Electronics, and SanDisk. The technology the company is supporting uses near field magnetic resonance charging allowing charging using a loose coupling of electromagnetic fields. The technology that A4WP is backing will allow multiple devices to be placed on a single charging pad at the same time with no need to fiddle with wires.

Competitors vying to become the industry standard for wireless charging include the Wireless Power Consortium and the Power Matters Alliance. The Wireless Power Consortium is backing technology that is already available on the market called Qi and is being used by Nokia, Samsung, and LG. The specification being pushed by the Power Matters Alliance is called Power 2.0. One of the biggest backers for the Power 2.0 standard is battery giant Duracell. The battery maker is backing Power 2.0 with its subsidiary, Powermat Technologies..

A4WP Chairman Kamil Grajski said his group aims to "[Remain] above the fray of the squabble that has broken out between first-generation players WPC and PMA" and "Has kept its eye on the next generation of [wireless charging] technologies and enhanced user experience through wireless charging spatial freedom."

Sources: Computerworld, Alliance for Wireless Power [PDF]

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RE: Lazy!
By protomech on 6/20/2013 1:27:21 PM , Rating: 3
This is far larger than just plugging in a phone.

Consider wifi. 10-12 years ago, you could make the argument that wifi was simply for people too lazy to plug in their computers. After all, it uses more power than wired ethernet does it not? And 802.11b was vastly slower than 100 and 1000 mbps ethernet.

Today wifi is of course not just for computers. Wifi connects everything in the house together; cellphones, IP cameras, game consoles, "the internet of things", etc.

Wireless power has the potential to do even more; particularly the spatially-independent magnetic resonance coupling the WPA is talking about. Big, power-hungry devices that use most of the energy in the home are likely to remain plugged in; air conditioning, refrigerators, electric heaters, desktop computers. Electric cars too will likely use physical plugs for some time.

Wireless power transfers are likely to stay below 10W. That covers small laptops, cellphones, personal electronics. Small sensors carried on your body / clothing? No problem. LED lighting could be super-easy to install without wires. Similarly for wireless repeaters and other "smart home" electronics.

A typical home consumes around 1000 kWh per month. Transferring 30W for 8 hours per day at 70% efficiency will waste about 2 kWh in a month, or about 0.2% of the monthly energy budget.

You can save more energy by swapping a single incandescent bulb for an LED light bulb (2 hours/day).

RE: Lazy!
By Motoman on 6/20/2013 1:37:15 PM , Rating: 1
Big, power-hungry devices that use most of the energy in the home are likely to remain plugged in; air conditioning, refrigerators, electric heaters, desktop computers. Electric cars too will likely use physical plugs for some time.

This is what I'm getting at though. I've noted that the little pad you drop your cellphone on doesn't really matter...the amount of energy in that equation isn't going to add up to much of anything, regardless of the amount that's lost due to the field induction.

What bothers me truly is when people start talking about using it for big things, or *everything*.

When it's come up with the EV charging thing, I've responded in those articles about what that loss looks like. If you assume 10% loss in energy transfer from the charging pad to the EV, and $50/month in electicity cost for that charging, it's $5/month that's lost due to the wireless system.

Which doesn't sound like much. Until you get to a signicant population of people doing that. Like, if there were a million people in NYC doing that, it's a loss of $5 million per month, or $60 million per year...just in NYC.

That's what makes my skin crawl.

RE: Lazy!
By BRB29 on 6/20/2013 1:50:40 PM , Rating: 2
NYC residents don't have garages. Most people don't even have cars. Some of my friends there don't even have licenses.

You should really use holdholds than individual. A family of 6 will probably only have 2-3 vehicles.

$60mil is nothing in NYC. That's like rent for a floor or two of an office building. The world US will actually save a lot more money/energy if everyone converted to LED lights. Just think of all that heat generated by bulbs and AC to cool the rooms. Hell, if everyone just turn off their damn computers after they're done then we'd probably save more energy lol.

RE: Lazy!
By Motoman on 6/20/2013 2:39:30 PM , Rating: 2
Use whatever city or other example that you want.

And I don't care where or who you are - $60 million is a lot. But worse than that is the fact that this was electricity that was generated, transported, and delivered to the endpoint - only to be thrown away by a dipsh1t who can't spend 2 seconds to plug something in.

On our existing power grid, which literally teeters on the edge of cascade failure on a daily basis.

This categorically isn't the same thing as someone saying "you know what, I've got so much money I'm going to wipe my a$$ with it and flush it down the toilet." That doesn't cause anyone any harm but that guy.

Large-scale waste of additional electrical load on our grid threatens all of us.

Or at least, as I've noted, until we have a truly smart grid with a wad more nuke plants and more electricity than we know what to do with. When that happens - go nuts, I no longer care.

But that's not the world we live in.

RE: Lazy!
By eriohl on 6/24/2013 4:01:41 AM , Rating: 2
I can think of a lot of applications for wireless power besides charging you're mobile. Charging you're pacemaker for example (operation or socket on you're chest being the alternative).

Besides. I think that for most people with a mobile phone convenience trumps the additional costs. For them power efficiency in the case of mobile phones has more to do with longer battery life then cost or saving the planet. I people want it companies will sell it.

"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer

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