Wireless Charging

Broadcom has announced a new wireless charging chip that aims to simplify wireless charging by combining all three current standards onto a single chip. The Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), the Power Matters Alliance (PMA), and the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP - of which Broadcom is a member) all have their own standards, though the PMA and A4WP have recently agreed to merge.

While the WPC's Qi standard has found its way into many products, it faces some challenges. For instance, though Nokia includes Qi charging in its phones, models bound for AT&T in the U.S. use the PMA standard, thanks to the carrier's partnership with the Alliance. This is set to change with Broadcom's new chip.

Broadcom's BCM59350 chip is an effort to provide a single low-cost, energy-efficient solution to the problem of multiple standards without leaving some customers out in the cold or having to wait until one standard wins out over the others. The chip enables automatic selection between the specifications from the three standards groups, and Broadcom wants to use the chip to drive the A4WP's Rezence resonance wireless charging specification into the mainstream.

The chip is not yet available to most manufacturers, but Broadcom is currently sampling it with select customers. How do you feel about Broadcom's attempt to unify wireless charging? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

Source: Broadcom


Reader comments

New Broadcom chip to finally bridge the gap between wireless charging standards


Sounds promising... Only advantage is see is I can keep reusing the same wireless charger for different phones since the chip supports all standards?

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Wireless charging lol... the most tethered charging solution available.

Don't you pick that phone up off that pad!

I hope that this chip becomes avaiable in all phones and that way i dont have to have mutiple wireless chargers. Wireless charging is the way to go

Eventually it will happen, one standard has to take the reigns and dominate the market. So far qi is ahead..

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Good comic, but luckily it can change. The days of "have you got a Nokia charger?" Are thankfully gone. Now i always carry a charger everyone can use! Unless they have an apple product, in which case I just laugh at them.

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In fairness, everyone uses Nokia chargrs, not just Nokia. The "nokia charger" we all know and love wasn't proprietary, hence why it was so popular.

How old are you? I'm talking about a time when not just every manufacturer, but almost every individual phone had it's own proprietary connector!

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Yes, I know that. I'm just saying that Nokia's connection wasn't proprietary, one of the few amongst manufacturers that used proprietary things. When I said "everyone uses Nokia Chargers", I wasn't being clear but I was talking about electronics in general, a lot of things even today use the barrel connector.

Well, it's actually the opposite way around in that Nokia chose to use a connector that already existed. But the charger wasn't universal, just because the connector matches doesn't mean the voltage and polarity do.

In fact that's good life advice: remember kids, just because something looks like it'll fit into a hole doesn't mean you should blindly shove it in there!

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I never said that Nokia made the connector, I specifically called it the barrel connector that everyone knows as "a nokia charger". I also never claimed it was universal, just that it wasn't proprietary and that a lot of devices use the same connector - and yes, that doesn't necessarily mean the same voltage but a lot of things used that voltage anyway.

I remember when Nokia switched TO a barrel connector, but I remember many years of them having that weird clip connector. So... no, asking for a Nokia charger was a reasonable request for quite some time. They were quite unique.

You said EVERYONE uses a Nokia connection. As far as I'm aware, when they had that odd clip connector, that in fact was not remotely true.

Saying "everyone" does something is a figure of speech. It's not meant to be taken literally. It's taken to mean "lots and lots of people".

Nokia's barrel connector wasn't proprietary, it was often called a "nokia connector" because of the sheer popularity of Nokia phones at the time, but it wasn't proprietary. Lots of people would ask for a "nokia charger" for things other than nokia phones.
You know this, I know this, I don't know why we're even debating it to be honest.

Because I have a very high level of confidence that when people were talking about a Nokia charger, both in the comic and in the comments, they weren't talking about the non-proprietary barrel connector, but the well-known proprietary clip connector that came before it. I'm merely pointing out that you're moving the goalpost oddly. I don't care about the figure of speech, just that you're focusing on the WRONG Nokia charger.

Yes, because Nokia replaced it many years ago with the barrel, so that's slowly taken over as the standard to the point where anyone searching for one is, indeed, going to be searching for the most modern one.

That said, the US was dramatically far behind the rest of the world in adopting standards. For the most part Nokia WAS the only company in the US using that charger, at least among all the popular ones. Sprint worked to standardize the port within their own phones, which all ended up with a similar (but different) barrel, but for the most part Nokia was unique. Sure didn't work with a single other phone I owned. But regardless, the earlier Nokia phones didn't even use that.

I think that's probably why we're differing on this opinion. In Europe (Where I'm from), Nokia was easily the most dominant player. Every other phone was a nokia phone, quite literally. The rest did by and large use proprietary connectors, but so many phones were nokias, everyone just called that particular charger the "nokia charger".

That makes a lot more sense. At that time, in particular, Europe was kicking our asses in cell phone technology and standards. Nokia was a much smaller player here, too.

Yeah, I vaguely remember wondering why Nokias were so unpopular in the US. I think nearly everyone in Europe has probably owned a Nokia at some point, it's almost like a rite of passage.

Note to self, next time say "Ericsson charger" lol

Dunno where you are in Europe, but yeah, here in the UK the 3210 and 3310 were basically the iPhone or Samsung galaxy of the day. EVERYONE had one.

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Nokia was pretty huge in the U.S. in their heyday, I had something like three or four Nokias in a row as my first few phones with AT&T... One long candy bar style model, two small blue ones, then a black/grey flip phone. Might've had a fifth even... Then a Sony Ericsson, then I went to smartphones. Edit: Plus everyone remembers that sliding Nokia model from the Matrix!

I have one of those matrix phone knocking about somewhere (was it a 6xxx...) And a communicator.

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Why the hell does AT&T feel the need to be involved in something like this?!

Carriers in the US need to relax and focus solely on improving the networks, not screwing with tech that's not their forte.

It's very good news for the consumer! Obviously broadcom have realised that the chances of anything overtaking Qi are pretty slim.

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That AT&T alliance doesn't sound good for the LG g3 to come with qi charging. AT&T left qi off of the g2, when Verizon had it included.

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I've never seen any phone or charger that supports anything other than Qi, I'd assumed Qi already won. Thanks AT&T for introducing fragmentation and making this chip necessary, not.

Nope . I still don't have a need or desire for wireless charging

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So is this a chip for phones? Because a multi-standard charger could also be interesting.