Wireless charging standards to be consolidated
February 13, 2014 // Paul Buckley
The Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) has signed an agreement
with the Power Matters Alliance (PMA)
with the aim of establishing global interoperability of the two wireless power standards.
The two organisations represent the major rival standards bodies
focused on wireless charging technologies used for recharging of batteries in portable devices.
The PMA promotes inductive wireless charging and A4WP promotes resonant wireless charging.
The agreement should accelerate the development of an interoperable wireless charging ecosystem
to drive the broad consumer adoption of wireless charging.
The agreement paves the way for the establishment of a clear path for industry consolidation
by harmonizing technical standards that deliver interoperability
and streamline next-generation wireless charging. According to market intelligence analyst,
IHS, the combined global market for wireless power receivers
and transmitters is expected to rise to 1.7 billion unit shipments in 2023,
up from about 25 million in 2013.
The PMA is a leader in inductive wireless charging technology
with installations in many popular venues including select Starbucks and McDonald’s stores,
and has developed an Open Network API capable of transforming individual charging spots into a smart,
manageable, global wireless power network. A4WP,
the de facto standard for resonant wireless charging,
has developed the only industry sponsored magnetic resonance technical specification
and is supported by a global product certification program under the Rezence brand.
The agreement will see the PMA adopt the A4WP Rezence specification
as the PMA magnetic resonance charging specification
for both transmitters and receivers in both single and multi-mode configurations.
In response A4WP plans to adopt the PMA inductive specification
as a supported option for multi-mode inductive, magnetic resonance implementations.
The A4WP is also going to collaborate with PMA
on their open network API for network services management.
"This announcement delivers a compelling message
for the industry to commit and deliver wireless charging devices now.
Between the organizations, A4WP and PMA membership consists of the key players necessary
to drive industry consolidation and establish
a commercially viable globally interoperable wireless charging ecosystem,"
said Kamil Grajski, President, Alliance for Wireless Power.
"We have listened and acted very deliberately to the overwhelming voice of the industry
to simplify rollout of wireless charging technology and bring more alignment within the ecosystem.
These two organizations are taking the necessary steps to get the job done."
said Ron Resnick, President, Power Matters Alliance.
"Combining the standards from A4WP and PMA
offer the best choices of core technologies and managed network services,
delivering to consumers a seamless, easy-to-use and convenient wireless charging user experience."
Board members from A4WP and PMA represent a cross section of industry leaders
who unanimously voted to approve the agreement.
Voting members included
Broadcom, Gill Electronics, IDT, Intel,
Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics
and Samsung Electro-Mechanics from A4WP;
and Starbucks, Procter & Gamble,
and Powermat Technologies from PMA.
Only this week WiTricity, a leading developer of wireless power systems
that deliver power safely and efficiently over distance,
announced that it was joining the A4WP as a board member.
As the holder of the foundational patents for highly resonant wireless power transfer over distance,
WiTricity technology is part of the backbone of the A4WP’s Rezence specification
for wireless power transfer based on this magnetic resonance.
WiTricity’s highly resonant wireless power transfer technology
enables simultaneous charging of multiple devices with differing power requirements,
and ‘spatial freedom’ for additional reach in the z-direction, eliminating
the hassle of accurate coil alignment
– all on a single charging surface or in a charging region.