Active-Semi rolls wireless mobile charging SoC sol'n
Active-Semi has announced what it says is a configurable architecture that incorporates all the functionality needed to implement the most sophisticated wireless power applications into a single SoC. According to the company, the PAC5220WP's complete Qi-certified hardware and software solution significantly cuts time to sample, time to prototype and time to production.
The programmable nature of this core helps make products based on the PAC5220WP future proof with regard to evolving standards. It's scalable to all WPC configurations, including larger, multi-coil offerings. It's scalable to higher powers (the base configuration supports 5W but is scalable to 15W, 20W, 60W and 150W), and it supports multi-mode migration (e.g., PMA), detailed the firm.
But how will this recharging take place? Traditionally, we've used things such as wall chargers and car chargers, but wireless charging is on the rise. The idea behind wireless charging is to have a pad (powered from a wall socket) sitting on your desk, for example. In addition to a coil, which transmits the power, the pad contains some very sophisticated electronics to control everything. The product to be recharged, like a smartphone, is also equipped with a coil. We will return to this point shortly.
Now, all you have to do to recharge your smartphone is place it on the pad when you aren't using it. There are no messy cables to carry around and/or lose. In some cases, larger pads might be able to recharge multiple items at once.
The important thing to understand here is that that the process of recharging batteries is nontrivial. Do you recall those notepad computers spontaneously bursting into flames a few years ago? At the heart of any wireless recharging control system will be a special-purpose IC. Several companies offer proprietary/closed ASIC solutions, but any algorithms they employ are effectively frozen in silicon, which makes it difficult for these devices to scale with current technologies or adapt to support evolving standards.