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Broadcom introduces chip for existing wireless charging standards

updated 08:08 pm EDT, Wed May 28, 2014

BCM59350 supports major wireless charging standards, charging up to 7.5 watts

In an attempt to tie together the fragmented wireless charging market, Broadcom has introduced a new chip that should speed along the process of device manufacturers picking a wireless charging standard to support. Rather than waiting for the market to decide on the winner based on device sales, Broadcom has launched the BCM59350, a single chip that includes the three largest standards in the market.

The BCM59350 will bring together the three major wireless charging standards into a single chip without taking up any more space than current designs. Specifications from the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP), Power Matter Alliance (PMA) and Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) are all included the in Broadcom's new power management unit (PMU). Using Rezence technology, that utilizes Bluetooth Smart, the chip communicates with the charging base to determine which standard to use.

"Broadcom's new wireless charging technology enables device manufacturers to build multi-standard wireless power receivers, alleviating consumer confusion and driving the benefits of Rezence technology into the mainstream," said Broadcom product director Reinier van der Lee. "Broadcom delivers the complete package -- interoperable wireless charging, leading mobile connectivity and WICED smart technology for charging pads, simplifying the development process and enabling a fully interoperable ecosystem to our customers."

Outside of bringing multiple standards together, the chip also makes improvements to other areas of wireless charging. The BCM59350 can handle 7.5 watts of charging, greater than the 5 watts that is currently supported by most devices. Charging is also done with an 88-percent AC to DC efficiency, and with 50-percent less voltage in boost mode.

Broadcom's chip can also be built-in to either the device's motherboard or an external battery cover for those companies that wish to exercise other options. It will also exist with NFC standards, not interfering with its use. It does appear that manufacturers would have to invest into Broadcom's wireless Internet connectivity for embedded devices (WICED) system on a chip (SoC) technology and software in order for the chip to function properly with charging pads.

The chip has yet to be launched to market, as Broadcom has stated that it is only out in a sampling capacity to customers. If the chip becomes widely adopted when it is released, it could mean that wireless charging will finally see widespread adoption without having to worry about a format or standard battle.

by MacNN Staff



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