The Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP)said Wednesday that it had more than tripled the available power for its Rezence wireless charging standard to 50 watts, making wireless charging feasible for tablets and notebook PCs as well as smartphones.
The A4WP spec and certification program will be upgraded by the end of 2014, the organization said. But the broadened specification also lured a number of other hardware makers to the A4WP’s fold: Dell, Fujitsu, Hon Hoi (Foxconn), Lenovo, Logitech, and Panasonic have joined the A4WP member base, the group said. An earlier version of the spec only allows charging with 3.5 watts to 16 watts.
Wireless charging remains a niche application, in part because the technology is fragmented between a few competing standards. The Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), which includes Nokia and LG, also competes with the Power Matters Alliance (PMA), which includes Duracell, manufacturer of the popular Duracell Powermat.
Manufacturers in the A4WP camp said the new spec would allow multiple devices to be charged simultaneously. The magnetic resonance technology used by the A4WP also allows different devices with different power requirements to be charged simultaneously.
“Logitech makes consumer electronics that span the power gamut, including computer and mobile accessories, gaming and music products,” said Marcel Stolk, senior vice president, Logitech, in a statement. “Having a universal wireless charging solution that is both flexible and scalable is important as consumers buy more devices that require charging. Rezence is the logical fit to enable us to deliver a superior customer experience.”
The A4WP announcement dovetails nicely with a vision for a completely wire-free PC that Intel executives outlined at the Computex show at Taiwan. By 2016, Intel will deliver a reference design of a Core processor code-named Skylake—which will succeed the next generation Broadwell chip—that will enable wireless docking, charging, display and data transfers, according to Kirk Skaugen, the senior vice president and general manager in charge of the PC Client Group at Intel.