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Industry Group Seeks to Standardize Wireless Power Devices

RF Report readers know of several companies promoting different wireless power transfer technologies. While the idea of charging a portable device without a power cord sounds attractive, that attractiveness will be greatly diminished if you have to have a desk full of different wireless charging platforms to handle different devices. Wireless power manufacturers recognized the problem and have formed the Wireless Power Consortium to set standards for wireless power devices. The Consortium is currently establishing the global wireless power charging standard for low power devices that consume 5 watts and below, such as mobile phones and personal music players.

According to the consortium, 90 percent of consumers surveyed said that they would like to see a uniform symbol placed on electronic devices to indicate that the devices are equipped with wireless power charging. The logo chosen was "Qi", (pronounced "chee"), which Camille Tang, Co-Chair of the Wireless Power Consortium's Promotion Work Group, explained refers to "vital energy" in Asian philosophy.

Ms. Tang said this week, "In just seven months the Wireless Power Consortium has advanced the standard to 0.95 for interoperability testing and moved to trademark 'Qi' as the first universal wireless power standard. These significant milestones have been achieved through strong collaboration among the Consortium members and pave the way for an accelerated 1.0 release schedule of the standard."

An interoperability test will be held Sept. 15-17, 2009 in Eindhoven, the Netherlands during the next Consortium meeting. It is open to existing and new members joining prior to Sept. 15.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.