Freescale Semiconductor has introduced three reference designs for wireless charging for high-capacity, single- and multi-cell battery packs. Target applications include power tools, handheld radios and various industrial applications.
Freescale has partnered with Fulton Innovation, a developer of wireless power and inductive charging technology. Fulton developed eCoupled technology to bring wireless power capabilities to virtually any electronic power system, and has built a portfolio of more than 700 patents in the field.
IMS Research projects that shipments of devices with wireless power will surpass 100 million in 2015, and the wireless power market will grow to nearly $5 billion by 2016. Electronics manufacturers are studying ways to implement wireless charging technology and the associated infrastructure necessary in locations including automobiles, coffee houses, airports and other public areas to support today’s computing-intensive mobile devices, such as smart phones, tablets, portable medical devices, gaming and audio accessories, and much more.
Though wireless power is still in its infancy, there is massive potential for use in consumer applications. The availability of specialized components for wireless power is a critical step in the evolution of this market by making the technology easier to implement while also driving down cost.—Jason dePreaux, research manager at IMS Research
Reference design for tablets. Freescale is introducing an integrated wireless charging platform to address consumer and industrial tablet applications, as well as portable healthcare devices. The reference design consists of two main components: a transmitter mat and a receiver embedded inside the back cover of the tablet.
This reference design leverages Freescale’s Smart Application Blueprint for Rapid Engineering (SABRE) platform for tablets with an i.MX53 applications processor; however, it can be scaled to most tablet designs. The receiver seamlessly interfaces with the input power of the tablet’s power management sub-system. Tablets that use Freescale wireless charging technology benefit from the ability to create an intelligent software-based charging system, charging efficiencies that match conventional technologies and convenience to the consumer.
Reference design for smart phones. Freescale is introducing a wireless charging reference design to address the needs of the smart phone market. For the technology to become truly pervasive, an industry standard that will scale across all platforms is necessary. Freescale supports the Qi standard, developed by the Wireless Power Consortium.
Freescale’s reference design for smart phones consists of a Qi-based transmitter with an embedded coil array to allow for maximum positioning freedom. The transmitter has been designed to optimize the bill of materials and lower overall system cost, creating more value for product designers. The Qi receiver is designed to support all types of smart phones and offers a true five-volt output to the phone’s power management sub-system.
Reference designs for multi-cell battery packs. Freescale is introducing a wireless charging reference design for high-capacity, single- and multi-cell battery packs. Target applications include power tools, handheld radios and various industrial applications. The reference design charges four Li-Ion battery packs simultaneously to deliver a total of 120 watts of power. The reference design consists of two main components: a transmitter mat and a receiver embedded into the battery packs.
The receiver manages and converts the incoming power and then transfers the power to the battery by implementing a charging algorithm. Each transmitter channel adjusts its energy transfer independently by responding to commands from the receiver embedded in the battery pack. This intelligent charging method is software-controlled and has the ability to dynamically adjust the power transfer. Benefits of this type of charging system for battery packs include the elimination of environmental impact due to exposed electrical contacts, intelligent charge management via software control and the ability to charge various types of batteries and associated chemistries on a common platform.