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Alliance for Wireless Power Looks to Challenge Qi

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Oct 9, 2012, 4:14 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper

The Alliance for Wireless Power is prepared to go head-to-head with the Wireless Power Consortium's Qi specification. The A4WP has spent the last six months finalizing its own specification for wireless inductive charging, and has support from Qualcomm, Samsung, and other key industry players. According to the A4WP, it is prepared to take its own specification to wireless network operators and handset makers for use in smartphones and other mobile product, such as tablets and Bluetooth headsets. A4WP representatives told Phone Scoop that it has been working with handset makers and has adjusted its specification to meet their requirements. Rather than using a pole-to-pole / point-to-point connection to achieve a charge, the A4WP lets devices be placed anywhere on an inductive pad. The pad can charge several different devices with different charging requirements at a time. The A4WP believes its spec is better than Qi, and it uses technology that's already built into many smartphones, such as Bluetooth 4.0, to minimize the hardware requirements. It says the amount of additional silicon that would need to be added to devices in only several square millimeters. The A4WP says several critical component makers are prepared to join its initiative in the coming weeks, and it believes it can convince handset makers and network operators to choose its specification over Qi in the months ahead. For a while, Verizon Wireless mandated that its smartphones have the power couplings necessary to support Qi, but its program never really got off the ground.

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