Two common refrains with wireless charging are that it's too slow and extremely inconsistent depending on the combination of phone and charging pad you're working with. Qualcomm is aiming to fix these problems with the announcement that it is going all-in on Qi wireless charging, and will begin certifying wireless charging pads that adhere to the Quick Charge standard.
It's inarguable that Qualcomm's Quick Charge standard has pushed the industry forward with standardized fast charging, particularly in the early years of Android. And it still remains the lowest common denominator of cross-manufacturer compatibility — most people know the Quick Charge, and it's easy to identify when your device and the charger you're using support it. (That is, at least for the near future until more manufacturers get on board with supporting USB-C PD.)
Now Qualcomm is hoping to bring the same easy-to-understand clarity and cross compatibility to wireless charging. Quick Charge compliant charging pads will go through the same level of testing that every wired Quick Charge adapter does, and will certify that it operates within the capabilities of the wall adapter for fast and safe charging. Qualcomm has noticed a large number of wireless charging pads that incorrectly claim Quick Charge compatibility, and this certification program should help rectify those issues — Qualcomm also works with retailers to identify and remove listings for incompatible devices that use Quick Charge branding. George Paparrizos, senior director of product management at Qualcomm:
Xiaomi is the first manufacturer to announce a Qi wireless charging pad with Quick Charge certification, with output of 20W and a claimed 0-100% charge of a 3300mAh battery in 90 minutes. That's ridiculously fast, and finally starts to put wireless charging speeds on par with what we expect from the latest wired speeds.
The Galaxy S10 series supports Samsung's new Fast Wireless Charging 2.0 system, which ups its output — so long as you're using a new charger — to 12W, which is still respectable and much faster than what most people are wirelessly charging at. It isn't clear what, if any, synergies there are between what Samsung and Qualcomm will certify as being compliant with each other's fast wireless charging programs.
But this certification process isn't only for new charging pads. Qualcomm will also certify older devices to make sure that they're safely charging even at lower speeds. Qualcomm says it will be able to certify backward compatibility all the way to pads that use Quick Charge 2.0 wall adapters, which won't offer the crazy 20W speeds of Quick Charge 4+ but will at least provide the peace of mind that you're buying a wireless charging pad that's both safe and operating properly for your phone. Qualcomm maintains a list of compatible Quick Charge devices, and will be updating it with charging pads that it certifies.
Qualcomm Announces Quick Charge for Wireless Power and Introduces Qi Interoperability
— Expands Upon Largest Fast-Charging Ecosystem by Adding Wireless Charging Pads to its Compliancy Program—
BARCELONA — February 25, 2019 — At Mobile World Congress, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ:QCOM), announced Qualcomm® Quick ChargeTM technology for wireless power, bringing its years of fast charging innovation to the wireless charging industry and helping consumers to wirelessly charge their devices quickly, safely and efficiently.
Characterized by fast and consistent mobile charging, the over 1,000 commercial Quick Charge technology-compatible mobile devices, accessories, and components are equipped with unique safety and intelligence features that are designed to minimize the amount of wasted energy and heat build-up on-device, and maximize the battery's lifespan, ultimately protecting and improving consumer's devices.
While wireless charging has become a popular charging option, the speed and efficiency of such products remains inconsistent. Further, wireless charging products have been introduced that claim Quick Charge support, when they have not passed through the required Quick Charge compliance process. In response to these issues, Qualcomm Technologies has expanded its compliancy program to include wireless charging pads powered by Quick Charge technology. This expansion includes forward and backward compatibility and helps enable high- and efficient- power transfer, for transmitter manufacturers to achieve truly fast wireless charging. Wireless charging pads powered by Quick Charge will work with the same Quick Charge 2.0, 3.0, 4 and 4+ adapters that millions of users already have at home, work, and elsewhere. UL, a global safety science company and the first to administer the existing Quick Charge compliancy program, will expand testing to include Quick Charge for wireless power. Qualcomm Technologies is also welcoming the first component vendor to the Quick Charge for wireless power program, Weltrend Semiconductor.
As part of the expanded compliancy program, additional testing will take place to ensure Quick Charge and Qi interoperability, aiming to provide consumers with a seamless wireless charging experience. The Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), creators of the Qi global wireless charging standard, includes over 650 member companies and over 3,500 compliant products. Qi-Certified devices include a majority of the world's top selling smartphones, many powered by Qualcomm® SnapdragonTM mobile platforms, with thousands of public charging stations deployed in restaurants, hotels, and airports, along with accessories available through traditional and online retail outlets.
"Qualcomm Technologies is proud to expand the Quick Charge compliance program to include Qi interoperability, as it will give consumers peace of mind that their Quick Charge enabled wireless charging pad has passed the rigorous tests established by both organizations. Further, we are pleased that Xiaomi, a longtime supporter of Quick Charge technology, has become the first company to deploy a compliant wireless power pad," said George Paparrizos, senior director, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. "Now in its fourth generation, Qualcomm® Quick ChargeTM technology continues to be a leader in safety and efficiency, and we look forward to leading the fast-wireless power ecosystem."
"Xiaomi uses Qualcomm® Quick ChargeTM technology throughout our mobile device ecosystem to provide users with unbeatable charging speeds," Yangteng Wang, lead of wireless charging, Xiaomi. "We are excited to introduce Quick Charge protocol for wireless power in Mi Wireless Charging Pad, complementing our existing line-up of Quick Charge technology-certified wall and battery chargers, and providing our loyal customers the lowest charge times and maximum power efficiency possible across their charging options."
"Qualcomm Technologies has been a key contributor to our rapidly growing ecosystem, collaborating with other innovators to bring fast charging and wireless charging together to ensure consumers get a superior charging experience," Menno Treffers, chairman, Wireless Power Consortium. "We have a shared mission and vision for developing standards that provide users with safe fast-charging solutions."
A staple of Quick Charge technology includes its compliancy standards testing. As with all generations prior, consumers can look for the same Quick Charge branding with which they are already familiar to ensure that their Quick Charge for wireless adapters have been vetted through compliance testing to provide a consistent and safety-conscious experience. Qualcomm Technologies enforces Quick Charge brand compliance, working with retailers to remove non- compliant accessories from their catalogs. Compliant products can be found within the Quick Charge Device List.
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Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.