Products from from about 120 companies are certified as compliant with the Qi standard, but most are not shipping today. The certified products run the gamut from the LG Optimus LTE2 and Panasonic Eluga smartphones, to charging pads, gaming controllers, Blu-ray Disc recorders, smartphone docking speakers, automobile phone chargers, alarm clocks, battery pack,s and charging modules that can be installed in tabletops and furniture.
The WPC is already working to extend its Qi specification to allow 10-watt power charging, said Menno Treffers, chairman of WPC. "In the U.S., you're seeing smartphones [with wireless charging] taking off this quarter," Treffers said. "Europe will be a little later than the U.S."
"There will be a bunch more products this year and Q1 next year with this chip in it," Heyer said. "We've worked with a lot of phone [manufacturers] over last 12 to 18 months to bring this technology forward."
TI's new bq51050B chip comes in a 1.9-mm by 3.0-mm WCSP (Wireless Communications and Signal Processing) package or 4.5-mm by 3.5-mm QFN (quad-flat no-leads) form factor, and is priced at $2.75 in 1,000-unit quantities. A bq51051B version with 4.35-V charge voltage is also available. The bq500410A charging chip comes in a 48-pin, 7-mm by 7-mm QFN package, and is priced at $3.18 in 1,000-unit quantities.
TI said the new charging chipset is just the tip of the iceberg as it plans to roll out technology over the next five to 10 years for HOV lanes with wireless power-enabled roads as well as charging technology for everything from televisions to kitchen appliances.
Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian, or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His email address is email@example.com.
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