Two Rival Wireless Power Groups Form Alliance

Could using wires to charge devices become a thing of the past? That often-mentioned possibility may have gotten a bit closer, following news that two competing standards groups will work together on wireless charging standards.

On Tuesday, two of the three wireless power standards groups, the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) and the Power Matter Alliance (PMA), said that the new alliance is aimed at establishing global interoperability for their separate standards.

But this new collaboration does not include the larger Wireless Power Consortium group, which backs the Qi (EUcheeEU) wireless charging spec.

1.7 Billion Units

According to industry research firm IHS Technologies, the global market for wireless power receivers and transmitters is projected to rise to 1.7 billion unit shipments in 10 years, from about 25 million this year.

PMAEUs inductive wireless charging technology is used in Starbucks' and McDonaldEUs stores, and the organization has developed an open network API to integrate individual charging stations into a smart, wireless global network. A4WP focuses on resonant wireless charging, for which it has developed the only magnetic resonance tech spec. A product certification program, Rezence, supports this approach.

Magnetic resonant wireless charging allows more than one device to be placed, in no specific location, on a charging pad. Magnetic inductive wireless charging requires that the device and charger are coupled. The Qi technology, backed by about 200 companies, enables inductive charging as well as short-distance magnetic resonance charging.

Under the agreement, the A4WP Rezence spec will become the PMA magnetic resonance charging spec for transmitters and receivers in either single or multi-mode configurations. The PMA inductive specification will become an A4WP-supported option for multi-mode inductive, magnetic resonance implementations. Both organizations will collaborate on the PMA open network API for network services management.

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Kamil Grajski, President of the Alliance for Wireless Power, said in a statement that the...

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