Qualcomm reveals wireless charging for metal devices

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Qualcomm Technologies has developed a way to wirelessly charge metal encased smartphones and tablets.

The solution uses Qualcomm's WiPower technology, which it unveiled earlier this year. It uses Near Field Magnetic Resonance technology to charge the device without requiring exact physical alignment.

WiPower is based on the Rezence standard, one of several that is battling for dominance in the charging market. Previously, metal cased smartphones interfered with wireless charging panels and required a special case in order to have their battery topped up.

Qualcomm said the techniques and reference designs for the latest innovation in WiPower has been made available to smartphone manufacturers.

Steve Pazol, General Manager of Wireless Charging, Qualcomm Incorporated, commented: “Building a wireless charging solution into devices with metal exteriors is a significant step for moving the entire industry forward. Today, more device manufacturers are choosing to utilize metal alloys in their product designs to provide greater structural support and, of course, aesthetics. [Our] engineering advancement eliminates a major obstacle facing wireless power and opens up the continued adoption of this desirable feature to a much wider range of consumer electronics and use cases.”

The announcement comes amid a period of upheaval for Qualcomm. It revealed last week plans to cut 15 percent of its workforce and explore a potential break-up of the company. It is facing competition from all sides, as Apple and Samsung carve up the high end, and companies such as Broadcom target the mid and lower tiers.