Wireless charging is coming in quick. Even with disparate charging standards shaping the landscape, the push continues in that direction. We want more gadgets, but we only have so many outlets! If Broadcomm has their way, wireless charging could end up being the new normal.
Their new BCM20736 SoC utilized the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) standard, which is a bit different from the Qi technology we’ve come to know. With Qi, the device must maintain contact with a charging pad. The A4WP standard creates a field of power, allowing us to stack devices or have them in the same general area. though the distance from the actual coil affects charging time, it does allow for multiple devices at the same time.
In addition to the A4WP charging standard, the chipset will sport an ARM Cortex M3 processor. It will also bring Bluetooth Smart technology, and be optimized for lower power consumption. that means no plugging a device in, and it will last longer. We’re pretty sure that’s the dream scenario.
Of course, this isn’t meant for your big, bad smartphone. This little guy — 6.5 x 6.5 mm — is designed for “Internet of things” hardware. Smart pedometers, Smartwatches, maybe even a Google Glass like device. Maybe more so that our smartphones, power and connectivity are important for those types of devices. Broadcom’s Senior Director, Brian Bedrosian, had the following to offer about the new chipset: "By offering support for wireless charging and reduced power consumption, we are empowering OEMs to design more effective products for more market segments, fueling the next generation of wearables and sensors." We hope he’s right.