updated 09:14 am EDT, Tue May 8, 2012
Samsung and Qualcomm take on Wireless Power Consortium
Samsung and Qualcomm have formed the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) in order to mount a challenge to Qi's Wireless Power Consortium. The move may result in a battle analogous to Sony's battle with Toshiba over the Blu-ray and HD-DVD formats as one side seeks to establish its technology as the international standard. The Wireless Power Consortium, however, will present a formidable opponent -- it already has over 100 companies on its list of members, including heavy-weights like Energizer, HTC, Huawei, LG, Panasonic, Philips, Sony, Texas Instruments and Toshiba.
The new A4WP group is aiming to promote global standardization of wireless power transfer technology that offers what it calls 'spatial freedom.' It also aims to develop all the associated testing, compliance and certification in order to establish a 'worldwide wireless power technology ecosystem' for consumer electronic devices. Products it is targeting include electrical devices in cars, on tabletops and for multiple devices simultaneously including tablets, smartphones and Bluetooth headsets.
The move by Samsung and Qualcomm (along with partners including SK Telecom, Ever Win Industries, Gill Industries and Peiker Acoustic) has been seemingly motivated by the estimated size of the global wireless charging market. According to IMS Research, shipments of wireless power enabled devices will exceed 100 million by 2015.
With Qi's latest specification permitting inductive charging over distances of up 1.6-inches, the battle for the world's consumer electronics inductive segment has been engaged.