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Wireless-Charging Landscape Flattens

FREMONT, CALIF. — Two major wireless charging rivals are teaming up to back a single standard for magnetic- resonance-based wireless charging.

The Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) announced today an agreement with the Power Matters Alliance (PMA) to establish global interoperability of their respective wireless power standards.

Additionally, PMA member WiTricity joined the A4WP as a sponsor, becoming the eighth member of the board of directors.

The A4WP’s Rezence near-field resonant technology allows simultaneous wireless charging of multiple devices over short distances without the need for direct contact with a charging coil or surface.

The agreement calls for the PMA to adopt the A4WP Rezence specification for magnetic resonance charging for both transmitters and receivers in both single and multi-mode configurations.

The A4WP will adopt the PMA’s inductive specification as a supported option for multi-mode inductive, magnetic resonance implementations.

The PMA has led the charge to bring wireless charging to the masses, placing its Powermat inductive wireless charging technology in popular venues including select Starbucks and McDonald’s stores, as well as airports and transportation hubs.

The A4WP agreed to collaborate with PMA on their open network API for network services management, which links all the publicly installed individual charging spots into a manageable global wireless power network.

Board members from the A4WP and PMA unanimously voted to approve the agreement. Voting members included Broadcom, Gill Electronics, IDT, Intel, Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics and Samsung Electro- Mechanics from the A4WP; and Starbucks, Procter & Gamble and Powermat Technologies from the PMA.

General membership in the A4WP has grown to more than 80 companies, the alliance said, including CE industry leaders such as Delphi, Fujitsu, Haier, Hitachi Chemical, LG, SanDisk and Texas Instruments.

“We have listened and acted very deliberately to the overwhelming voice of the industry to simplify rollout of wireless charging technology and bring more alignment within the ecosystem. These two organizations are taking the necessary steps to get the job done.” said PMA president Ron Resnick. “Combining the standards from A4WP and PMA offer the best choices of core technologies and managed network services, delivering to consumers a seamless, easy-to-use and convenient wireless charging user experience.”

“The combined global market for wireless power receivers and transmitters is expected to rise to 1.7 billion unit shipments in 2023, up from about 25 million in 2013,” said Ryan Sanderson, associate director, power supply and storage components at IHS Technology.