A growing number of smartphones and tablets ship with support for wireless charging. Instead of plugging in a cable to charge your battery, you can just place the device on or near a wireless charging pad or stand.
But if you buy a new device there’s a chance it won’t work with your existing charger… because there are at least three different wireless charging standards on the market. Right now that means you have to be very careful to buy equipment that you know will work with your device. But soon you may not have to worry so much.
Broadcom has just unveiled a new multi-standard chip that supports all 3 major wireless charging protocols.
That means you may be able to buy a phone or tablet with Broadcom’s new BCM59350 wireless charging chip and use it with hardware from the Alliance for Wireless Power, Power Matters Alliance, or Wireless Power Consortium. It supports charging accessories using any of those standards.
Of course, wireless charging isn’t as efficient as sending power down a wire. You lose a little energy, but the chip maker says its solution minimizes energy loss and should be able to charge your phone in about the same time as it would take if you were using a USB cable.
In fact, since the chip supports up to 7.5W instead of the usual 5W, you might be able to charge some devices more quickly using wireless charging.