Battle for the fastest phone charger

Battle for the fastest phone charger

Feature articles |
By Nick Flaherty

Phone makers are going head to head at Mobile World Congress this week over charging times.

Realme is using gallium nitride power chips from Navitas to support charging to 50% in 5 minutes at 150W, while OPPO is offering the same capability, with a full charge in 15 minutes, and promising 240W charging.

All of this is a combination of the control and power technologies of today’s devices.

The realme GT Neo 3 smartphone uses Mediatek’s Dimensity 8100 chip and a 150W UltraDart Charging Architecture (UDCA) along with advanced heat management and protection of the 4500mAh battery.

This is supported by the 150W charger, built around Navitas GaNFast power chips, that measures 58 x 58 x 30 mm (101 cc), giving a power density of 1.5 W/cc. The GaN Fast chips integrate the FET and gate driver with control and protection in a single surface mount package.

“Our super flash charging technology delivers the world’s fastest smartphone charging solution, providing users of the new realme GT Neo 3 with the flexibility and convenience of fully charging their phones in the shortest possible time. Gallium nitride ICs have been fundamental to delivering this step change in performance while keeping charger weight and form factor as low as possible,” said Madhav Sheth, President of realme international business group and VP of realme. 

“We would like to congratulate realme on the global launch of its GT Neo 3 series and for making available the world’s first commercial solution for 150W smartphone charging,” said Navitas CEO and co-founder Gene Sheridan. “This milestone in the ultra-fast charger sector is powered by Navitas GaNFast technology, which has allowed realme to create a new 150W charging benchmark for efficiency, speed and form factor.”

Oppo fast charging

Meanwhile Oppo has developed its own Battery Health Engine (BHE) and integrated this within the ultra-fast 150W SuperVOOC flash charge system that allows the battery to maintain 80% of its original capacity after as many as 1,600 charge cycles, double the current industry standard.

The BHE uses two charge pumps which can support up to 20V/7.5A charging of a 4500mAh battery from 1% to 50% in 5 minutes and all the way to 100% in 15 minutes.

Smart Battery Health Algorithm can track real-time electric potential across the negative electrodes inside the battery. It dynamically adjusts the charging currency within a reasonable range, minimizing the occurrence of dead lithium while maintaining the maximum charging current.

Oppo has also  worked on the battery electrolyte, allowing the electrodes to form a more stable and durable solid electrolyte interface (SEI). This helps in reducing the wear and tear of the positive and negative electrodes of the battery, therefore, enhancing battery performance and extending battery lifespan.

The power adapter for the 150W SuperVOOC with BHE uses GaN FETs to fit into the same form factor as the 65W adapter, measuring 58 x 57 x 30mm, and weighing around 172g. This gives a power density of 1.51W/cc. This will be implemented in high end Oppo and OnePlus phones, starting in Q2, and Navitas has previously supplied GaN chips for Oppo chargers.

240W SuperVOOC fast charging

The next generation 240W SuperVOOC flash charge technology will be able to fully charge a 4,500mAh battery in about 9 minutes.

This is designed with three 24V/10A charge pumps on the Type-C interface and conforms to the existing device specifications and has been tested in terms of heat dissipation, guaranteeing optimal efficiency and enhanced safety. Furthermore, the battery’s leading discharge rating allows the hardware to support a maximum of 240W, which provides a 50% charge in just over three minutes.

The 240W charging is achieved with five safety protection measures as well as a specially customized intelligent control chip that controls the voltage, current, and temperature to deliver a safe charging solution. A customized battery safety monitoring chip monitors whether the battery of the mobile phone is damaged by external forces when in use and there are 13 temperature sensors in the phone for monitoring, reducing the chance of overheating and avoiding abnormalities.

“As charging science continues to develop at an ever-increasing pace, users’ expectations are responding accordingly. Since the launch of VOOC flash charge in 2014, OPPO has prioritized the overall charging experience while leading the development of flash charge technologies. We will continue to push the limits of high-power flash charge technologies, actively tackling emerging issues such as the deterioration of battery health, and providing users with safe, efficient, smart, and fast charging solutions that go beyond speed,” said Jeff Zhang, Chief Charging Technology Scientist at Oppo.

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