CHIPMAKER Texas Instruments (TI) has released the industry's smallest wireless power receiver chip.
Texas Instruments' range of wireless power receiver chips is 80 per cent smaller than its previous generation units, with the firm targeting the chip for use in consumer electronic devices such as smartphones. The innovatively named bq51013 chip supports up to 5W of output power and has a very impressive 93 per cent efficiency in AC/DC power conversion.
Sami Kiriaki, SVP of TI's Power Management business said, "Designers can use the bq51013 to quickly integrate wireless power into existing and new applications with minimal impact to overall solution size." What TI hasn't revealed is whether it has any takers for the chip already.
You don't have to be clairvoyant to see that once chips such as Texas Instruments' bq51013 become cheap enough to use in smartphones that wireless charging will take off. Wireless power isn't all that new, with Fultron Innovation showcasing its capabilities by charging the Tesla electric car using wireless power at CES this year.
Fultron Innovation told The INQUIRER at the time that there is no upper limit to the amount of power that wireless charging can deliver. The limits on TI's chips are more down to size and packaging rather than limitations of the underlying technology.
While TI's bq51013 might deliver only 5W, even ARM's highest performing Cortex A9 chips use less than 2W when optimised for performance. While other components such as screens will push the power draw beyond the 5W limit of the bq51013, the chip still has the potential to extend battery life, especially when a device is in standby mode.
Now that TI has managed to create a wireless power chip that measures just 1.9x3mm, perhaps we will start to see device manufacturers incorporate wireless charging into their smartphones. µ
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