With the rising popularity of 7.5W wireless charging, Avnet helps companies obtain rapid product certification

Demo board of ST's lithium battery charger solution

The current wave of wireless charging technology, fueled by the new iPhone from Apple, is showing strong momentum growth. Semiconductor suppliers around the world have started making substantial investments in new IC solutions while a low barrier to entry has furthermore enabled wireless chargers to become the hottest trending product.

Qi certification expected to become mandatory 

Since its establishment in 2008, Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) has been growing exponentially from just 200 members in the year before last to its current roster of 400, and has become a successful wireless charging organization. This means WPC will have more resources to further develop wireless charging specifications and perfect the overall system. More importantly, it will be able to ensure that all end users enjoy safe access to wireless charging. As charging power continues to increase, safety requirements have also become more stringent.

According to the resolutions of a WPC meeting in Vienna held in early February, improvement of Qi products will proceed pursuant to the following procedure:

The first step is to convince online and offline distribution platforms to take products that are not Qi certified off the shelf. Many suppliers claim Qi compliance to avoid certification fees. However, such products are not submitted for certification and can be potentially very dangerous. Therefore, the most important thing is to take these products without Qi certification off the shelf across all channels.

The second step is to combat fake Qi certified products. Some suppliers use Qi trademarks without authorization, thereby misleading consumers into the purchase of unsafe products. Legal action will be taken for products that are not listed on the WPC official website but make intentional, unauthorized use of Qi trademarks.

The third step is to randomly inspect certified products. Products showing any discrepancy from the original certified versions will be given a warning or taken off the shelf. More serious offenses will lead to permanent denial of certification by WPC.

It is necessary for wireless chargers to be Qi certified in order to be sold through different channels. In addition to high costs, manufacturers are obligated to overcome the challenges of complex certification procedures. Nevertheless, a rigorous certification and audit system has to be established in the interests of consumers. The process, while painful, will contribute to a healthier supply chain. For the purpose of making Qi the safest and most friendly charging option, the Vienna meeting called for more resources to be invested and plans to make onsite visits to all distributing channels.

Does a roadmap guarantee success?

The largest obstacle in the development of wireless charging is certification. Many solutions claim "guaranteed success with the roadmap." However, most find it difficult to get past the certification process. At present, Avnet is the only supplier in Taiwan that possesses WPC approved test equipment. In addition to existing FOD and Q value tests, the new WPC V1.2.4 specifications include guarantee power into the test criteria. If a brand claims 10W fast charge on the package, WPC will require the guaranteed output to reach 10W during the test. Hence, choosing a suitable solution provider will be your most important task before initiating a project.

Device certification and methods play increasingly crucial roles

Avnet is equipped with WPC approved test equipment Nok9 CATS I and CATS II. The company has also formed a strategic alliance with a test lab to ensure all test criteria are tested in the same way as in a standard lab. When a manufacturer completes a product design, the product will be first sent to the Avnet lab for FOD calibration and Qi certification pre-test. The certification process usually take 4 to 6 weeks. By choosing Avnet, you can avoid late product launches and effectively shorten the certification process by a significant amount of time.

One-stop solutions at Avnet 

Avnet is the distributor of wireless charging chips from more than 20 suppliers. We will help you quickly identify the advantages as well as disadvantages of each solution and choose the one most suitable for your needs. Furthermore, Avnet Taiwan has professional experts and engineers, who, who, aided by  design service and capabilities globally, are able to provide you with full technical support. 

  1. Sharing experiences and recommending suitable solutions 
  2. Providing development assistance, comprehensive solutions and recommended lines, basic electric property tests, and divider alignment
  3. Qi certification, FOD/Q value adaptation 
  4. Recommendations on production, factory test tools and test stations 

The wireless charging market took off in 2015. According to IHS forecasts, the number of devices in the wireless charging market will reach 1 billion in 2020 or ten times as many as that in 2015. It is estimated that by 2025, the total output of wireless charging receivers and transmitters will approach 2.3 billion. In particular, we have made a number of observations: 

  1. Mobile phones represent the largest portion of the market. However, new wireless chargers will have to support fast charge, i.e. an output of 8W or higher. 
  2. Wireless charging is a better match for wearable products and waterproof products. 
  3. Large growth in in-car products and services is prompting the installation of built-in transmitters, which has become part of the standard package for high-end vehicle models
  4. Products for PC/notebooks offering 40W-60W output will take off in 2019
  5. Incorporating products and services into IOT will make merchants and the community more willing to install transmitters in their stores and in public venues

Rising popularity of 7.5W wireless charging

Ready to explore the endless potential in wireless charging? Avnet is your best choice.

Author: Andy Yang, Product Management Manager, Avnet Taiwan

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