Wireless charging is nothing new. Intel demonstrated it in 2008; still, even today, this isn’t mainstream. Intel though is hoping to finally be the one to finally change that in the coming years with its new chipsets.
As the announcement on the company’s blog states Intel is now working with a company called Integrated Device Technology, Inc. (IDT) to create chips which will wireless charge your devices without the use of a charging pad.
“Imagine, for example, this wireless charging solution in an Ultrabook of the future. How would it work? You are low on juice on your phone — you simply start the Wireless Charging Technology (WCT) detection software and place the smartphone close to your Ultrabook (about an inch or so). Coupling takes place between the two devices and energy begins to seamlessly and wirelessly flow from the Ultrabook to the smartphone. Within an hour, you have recharged your smartphone sufficiently to make it through the afternoon. No more wires or chargers.”
One of the benefits of this would seem fairly obvious: we can say goodbye to all those charging devices, so no more cables and no charge mats either. Just place your phone near your Intel powered PC and electricity flows into your battery.
Of course one would have to question: how much would electricity would this feature really use up? While desktop users may not need to worry about this, laptop users would due to battery power. According to Gary Matos, strategic planning manager at Intel: “We’ve run tests in our labs and in general, a 10 percent drop in a notebook will give you at least a 30 percent increase in your smartphone charge. That’s with both systems running [simultaneously].” Charge times are also said to be similar to USB charging methods so we shouldn’t expect any big changes.
One could argue that Intel does face some tough competition here because currently the wireless charging market has a proposed standard known as Qi which currently has a wide range of supporters. 88 products are listed by the Wireless Power Consortium as being Qi-compatible, including phones from HTC as well as Nokia with its new Lumia 920 and 820. With Intel not a part of this party – and also considering very few Intel chips have actually made their way into mobile devices – one could indeed say that Intel definitely does look like it has a tough journey ahead.
Still to give a final judgement before this is even out would be unfair, right? It doesn’t seem to bother Intel either. “We are delighted to work with IDT to accelerate the progress toward that vision with their unique and proven skill to integrate the required features and functionality into a monolithic solution,” Intel’s PC growth and innovation Chief Gary Huang says in a statement. “Customers and consumers alike have asked for a fully mobile wireless charging experience, and it is our objective to deliver it through the power of PC.”
Currently Intel is being very silent on the topic as to when exactly we’ll see any products using this chipset. The only thing we know is IDT has stated they will be giving a reference design work in early 2013, so most likely any Intel powered devices with this feature won’t appear until late 2013 or early 2014. Of course, to hit Sri Lanka, it’ll probably take a little longer than that.