Intel chooses sides in wireless power format war

first_imgAs with any emerging consumer technology, there are multiple standards vying to be the future of wireless power. Processor king Intel has now chosen sides in this battle by joining the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP), which pushes a kind of magnetic resonance platform to charge devices. The A4WP is not without competition, but getting Intel’s backing is a big win.The A4WP is opposed by the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) and the Power Matters Alliance (PMA), both of which support magnetic induction as a way of powering devices wirelessly. Inductive technologies tend to charge devices more efficiently than magnetic resonance, but the field is smaller and can usually only support one device at a time.The WPC is backed by the likes of Samsung, LG, Asus, and Nokia. It develops and promotes the Qi standard, which is the most widely used wireless charging standard. Devices like the Droid DNA, Lumia 920, and Droid DNA have Qi inductive charging built-in. The PMA supports the Power 2.0 standard, but it has been losing ground to Qi in recent years.There is actually some amount of cross-pollination among these wireless power consortiums. Some companies are members of more than one body. For example, Samsung is associated with all three entities, but only makes Qi-standard devices right now. It is perhaps more telling that Intel has only joined one group, and that it chose the most experimental technology. The nature of magnetic resonance charging makes it useful for a wider range of devices like tablets and Ultrabooks, which may appeal to Intel.This format war doesn’t have quite the same consumer focus as DVD vs. Blu-ray, but it could have significant impacts once everything gets worked out. Your next phone might even come with a wireless charger instead of an AC adapter.last_img read more