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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 Solandri on 6/20/2013 2:23:01 PM , Rating: 2
We used induction coupling to recharge batteries in underwater robots, where we didn't want to expose conducting metal to the ocean. At very small distances (in our case about 1 mm), it is nearly 99% efficient.

Yes the efficiency drops off at larger distances. But think about what's being charged. We're not gonna charge electric cars with this (except for the crazy dreamers who don't understand the limitations of physics and so don't realize how foolhardy that is). The vast majority of wireless power applications are going to be charging small devices whose battery capacity is limited by size.

A cell phone battery carries about 0.07 cents worth of electricity. No phone owner is going to care about losing 10% of that in efficiency losses. The convenience far outweighs the cost. Same for something like an artificial heart implanted in someone's body. The convenience of wireless power far outweighs the cost of the lower efficiency.

You're arguing as if efficiency is the end-all be-all goal. It's not. Cost/benefit ratio is. Higher efficiency can improve that ratio by lowering cost, but so can the benefit of wireless power's convenience. Nobody is suggestion we convert our entire power grid to wireless power. Only the applications where the benefit outweighs the cost of lower efficiency.

RE: Lazy!
By Motoman on 6/20/2013 2:35:42 PM , Rating: 2
You're arguing as if efficiency is the end-all be-all goal. It's not. Cost/benefit ratio is.

No, actually I'm making the same argument you just did.

I've stated that the loss at the pad-for-your-phone thing is negligible in any case. And I noted that I had hoped it would be 99% efficient, granted that the distance is essentially zero.

And, like you, my main concern (that I've stated many times) is trying to use this for *big* stuff - like EVs.

We are in agreement on this issue.

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