The Wireless Power Consortium said over the weekend that its "Qi" wireless power standard is ready. The next step? Interoperability testing.
Although the Wireless Power Consortium never indicated when its final specification would be ready, the 1.0 spec was released roughly a year after the group announced its 0.95 version of its specification.
"The Qi low power standard is ready," Menno Treffers, chairman of the steering group at the commission, announced via a blog post. "This standard delivers up to 5 Watt into wireless power receivers. The technical specification will become available on August 30 as [a] free download for everyone."
Fulton Innovation and its eCoupled technology is one of the leaders of the group, which also includes ConvenientPower, Duracell, Hosiden, Leggett & Platt, National Semiconductor, Olympus, Philips, Samsung, Sanyo, Shenzhen Sangfei Consumer Communications, ST-Ericsson, and Texas Instruments.
Wireless power can mean different things to different people; in this case, the technology refers to magnetic induction, which can charge a Qi-compatible device resting on a compatible power pad. WildCharger and PowerMat both use a power-charging surface, although both of the technologies aren't compatible with the eCoupled tech. To Intel, wireless power has been of a radient technology, beaming power across an air gap. The same principle guides PowerCast which used radio waves as a transmission medium. Neither of the latter three companies are part of the Wireless Power Consortium.
However, Qi products aren't ready for prime time—yet. "Our goal is interoperability," Treffers added. "A power receiver must work with all power transmitters. Interoperability follows automatically when the product developer follows the instructions in the standard. Right? Well, … that is the theory. In practice it does not work like that."
"Publishing a standard is not enough. Without test documentation, certification services, and a logo license agreement, interoperability is an illusion," Treffers said. But the Wireless Powr Consortium also did not say when that would happen.
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