WiTricity Corp. has become the latest board member of The Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP), a move that is expected to advance adoption of A4WP's Rezence standard for magnetic resonance-based wireless charging products, and promote industry consolidation.
Based on Bluetooth Smart, the A4WP's Rezence near-field resonant technology enables multiple devices to be charged simultaneously, even with different power requirements. In addition, it offers "spatial freedom" for additional reach in the z-direction, and eliminates the hassle of accurate coil alignment -- all on a single charging surface or in a charging region.
The A4WP's aim is to bring magnetic resonance-based wireless power to the broad-based consumer market. Its board members include Broadcom, Gill Electronics, IDT, Intel, Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics and Samsung Electro-Mechanics. General membership has grown to more than 80 companies, including industry leaders such as CSR, Delphi, Fujitsu, Haier, Hitachi Chemical, LG, NXP, ON Semiconductor, Renesas, SanDisk, and Texas Instruments.
WiTricity, the developer of highly resonant wireless power transfer technology, plans to incorporate the Rezence specification in a reference design that its chief executive, Eric Giler, hopes to have ready this year.
"We are the inventors of the technology. We are aggressively working to see this technology developed and brought to market," Giler said.
WiTricity in Watertown, Mass., recently introduced what it claimed was the first system for wireless charging of consumer devices such as the iPhone5 using its patented highly resonant wireless power transfer technology. The charging system is available as a reference design for companies that want to apply the technology for charging other smartphones, tablets, or consumer electronic devices. It is currently not compliant with A4WP, but since it supports Rezence's underlying technologies, WiTricity can now make it compliant, Giler said.
"The reference design that WiTricity will now make for the A4WP should help accelerate time to market for the group's Rezence specs, and also provide WiTricity with much-needed market weight and support," said Caroline Gabriel, a research director at wireless infrastructure analyst firm Maravedis-Rethink Technology Research in London, England.
WiTricity, a privately held startup that has raised approximately $45 million since its inception in 2007, has backing from several powerhouses, including Intel and FoxConn. It currently has 50 employees and an R&D center in Utah with plans to grow the headcount and facility there, according to Giler.