Will wireless charging merger accelerate global deployment?

Will wireless charging merger accelerate global deployment?

Technology News |
By eeNews Europe

The merger creates an organization that will aim to accelerate the availability and deployment of wireless charging technology on a global scale.

The A4WP and PMA, leaders in wireless charging technology, have agreed in principal to the terms of the merger that is expected to close by mid-2015. The merger caps a productive year between the two organizations that announced a separate collaboration agreement in February, 2014.

So far a name for the new organisation has not been finalised.  Back in February 2014 The Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) signed an agreement with the Power Matters Alliance (PMA) with the aim of establishing global interoperability of the two wireless power standards.

Prior to the merger A4WP was dedicated to building a wireless charging ecosystem based on Rezence technology which is a wireless power transfer technology and specification based on the principles of magnetic resonance.

One of the key objectives of the new organization will be to accelerate the transition to volume economies of scale of wireless power transfer technology to benefit consumers, mobile network operators, consumer-facing commercial and retail brands, and the consumer electronics industry, including its semiconductor and manufacturing partners.  Consumers will gain access to an enhanced battery charging and power management experience sooner across the full spectrum of devices in daily use.  Mobile network operators and commercial and retail brands can commit to the necessary investment confident of stable, long-term evolution and management of innovative wireless charging technologies.  For the consumer electronics industry, in particular, the benefit will be the creation of a competitive, multi-source and innovative supplier base to drive value-added features into product roadmaps across a broad range of devices from Bluetooth headsets to wearables to smartphones, and on up to tablets, notebooks and laptops, among many others.

The merger of A4WP and PMA creates a new organisation to rival the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) which promites the Qi charging system and claims to be used in more than 600 products including 70 smartphones.  WPC has more than 200 members including Audi, Fairchild Semiconductor, Freescale Semiconductor, IKEA, Microsoft, Nokia, NXP, Panasonic, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, Toshiba and Verizon.

“The ‘standards war’ narrative presents a false choice,” said Kamil Grajski, Board Chair and President, Alliance for Wireless Power.  “Consider that the typical mass-market smartphone contains a multiplicity of radio technologies (Bluetooth, NFC, WiFi, 3G, LTE) each built around a vibrant ecosystem, whereas other devices are single-mode (Bluetooth headset).  The A4WP PMA merger is in the same spirit: enable the market to apply technologies to their best use cases.”

“The key to volume economics is to combine best-in-class wireless power transfer technology with innovative cloud-based network services,” said Ron Resnick, President, Power Matters Alliance.  “The best-in-breed combination of A4WP and PMA assures decision-makers throughout the industry of responsible stewardship of these essential contributing technologies.”  

The A4WP and PMA Boards will combine and feature a a number of global consumer brands, supply chains and market leaders including AT&T, Broadcom, Duracell, Flextronics, Gill Electronics, Huawei, Integrated Device Technologies (IDT), Intel, Powermat, Samsung Electronics, Samsung Electro-Mechanics, Starbucks and WiTricity.

Related articles and links:

News articles:

Bluetooth SIG and A4WP to shape wireless charging standard

Wireless charging standards to be consolidated

A4WP extends wireless charging to 50-W for tablets

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