Expanding new areas of application, enhancing new user experience, and leading wireless fast charging forces to explore technological breakthroughs after the New Deal
[Guide]With the enhancement of the performance of mobile phones and wearable Electronic products, the enrichment of application scenarios, and the improvement of 5G usage scenarios, consumers have become more demanding for more convenient and faster charging, and the remarkable convenience of wireless charging in recent years To become the user’s first choice. Yole Development predicts that by 2024, the annual shipments of smartphones supporting wireless charging will exceed 1.2 billion units. With the rapid growth of Chinese local semiconductor companies, Chinese companies in the field of wireless fast charging technology are gradually leading their global counterparts.
“Many manufacturers’ flagship phones and headsets have wireless charging capabilities, and many smart homes, cars, and audio systems have begun to integrate wireless charging modules. There is still a very broad development space for the wireless charging market in the future.” EEVIA held recently At the 9th Annual China Electronics ICT Media Forum and 2021 Industry and Technology Outlook Seminar, Li Jun, vice president of Volta Semiconductor’s wireless charging division, said. This global major mobile phone brand wireless charging solution partner company, established seven years ago, has strongly grabbed half of the wireless charging market’s super-large share, and has achieved a counterattack from technology follow-up to industry leader.
Li Jun, Vice President of Vodafone’s Wireless Charging Division
Under the new policy of “high limit” wireless fast charging power, seek technological breakthroughs in new dimensions beyond fast
Seven years ago, the mobile phone advertisement of “charging for 5 minutes and talking for two hours” captured the pain points of users and made consumers still remember it even today. Since then, fast charging has become one of the important selling points of mobile phones. The power competition in the wired charging market can be called wild madness. In just a few years, the charging power of mobile phones has achieved multiple jumps from 20W, 50W to a breakthrough of 120W. Not long ago, Volta also launched the single-chip charge pump fast-charging chip that claims to have the highest power in the industry. The innovative dual-cell fast-charging structure breaks the bottleneck of single-cell charging, greatly increasing the charging power from 60W to 120W, and there is a chance Further increase to 200W.
However, the wireless fast charging power competition of another parallel track has been set a “ceiling”. At the beginning of the year, in order to use radio spectrum resources in an orderly manner and maintain the order of air waves, the Radio Regulatory Bureau of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued the Interim Provisions on Radio Management of Wireless Charging (Power Transmission) Equipment (Draft for Solicitation of Comments), stipulating that from January 1, 2022 The rated transmission power of all mobile and portable wireless charging devices that are produced, imported and sold and used domestically must not exceed 50W. The power race for domestic wireless fast charging has come to an abrupt end.
Judging from the current mobile phone charging market, 50W is already a not-low power level, which will not have much impact on most users for the time being. However, as the key “KPI” for competition in the traditional wireless fast charging market, the sudden “high limit” makes solution vendors instantly lose the focus of competition. How should the industry adjust the direction of research and development in the context of wireless charging power “limited height”? How to improve the competitiveness of wireless charging?
Under the power competition ceiling, performance PK shifts to charging efficiency
“We are doing some innovations to simplify the architecture, hoping to improve the efficiency, cost and experience of wireless charging. In this way, more machines, equipment, and wearable products can also use wireless charging.” Li Jun pointed out. The second-generation 67-watt wireless fast charging product that has been mass-produced in Volta before has reached 90% efficiency from the transmitter to the receiver. “In the future, Volta’s third-generation wireless charging products will adjust the power to 50 watts, but will continue to improve transmission efficiency and gradually tie the efficiency level of wired charging.” Li Zhen emphasized.
A good experience is the biggest selling point of wireless charging that distinguishes it from traditional wired charging, and how to achieve a better charging experience is the key to product differentiation after the power is “limited”. “The wireless charging receiver chip is a relatively complex system. One chip needs to process power, protocol, and algorithm at the same time. From Volta’s point of view, there are many directions for making wireless charging products with better experience, such as: receiving chip software algorithm It is fully compatible with all WPC-certified transmitters on the market; not only can the mobile phone be used as a wireless receiver, it can also be used as a reverse charging terminal for other electronic devices, and reverse charging for watches and earphones.” Li Chen explained. Li Jun also shared a unique experience realized by a Volta wireless charging solution-the patent-authorized “touch-and-fire” wireless charging function, which avoids the trouble of setting up a special activation button for some wireless charging on the market to turn on the wireless charging function. The charging product based on the one-touch launch patent will start charging immediately by sticking the device to the top, and the standby power consumption is the same as before.
“At present, the wireless charging that end users contact is mainly magnetic inductive charging. From the perspective of convenience, it is still at a relatively primitive stage. As Volta continues to optimize product performance, more terminal manufacturers adopt wireless charging modules, and more Home, car, audio, and public facilities provide wireless charging functions. Wireless charging will break through the use of fixed charging bases. It can be combined with power strips, mobile power supplies, audio and other equipment, and can be used in homes, offices, supermarkets, and even Wireless charging is seamlessly used in public places.” Li Zheng is confident in the wide range of application scenarios of wireless charging.
In fact, the wireless charging technology also has a technical solution based on magnetic resonance, which can realize the long-distance charging experience in a more convenient way and achieve greater freedom of charging space. It is reported that Volta has invested many years in technology research and development for this purpose, and has corresponding patents and samples. However, due to the comprehensive consideration of current technology and product cost, it will not be commercialized on a large scale in the short term. Therefore, in the next few years, improving and optimizing magnetic induction is still the main technology direction.
Entering the automotive OEM market, revealing the technology behind the “80%” efficiency
With the gradual development and maturity of wireless charging technology, wireless charging technology will continue to penetrate into consumer electronics, automotive and other fields, and will eventually form a wide range of wireless charging application scenarios. According to statistics from Zhiyan Consulting, the global wireless charging market will exceed 110 billion yuan in 2021, and the automotive pre-installation market is one of the promising markets. In addition to the Lexus NX300h, BMW x3, Lynk & Co 01 and other mid-to-high-end models, which have taken the lead, More and more models will begin to popularize the wireless charging function.
At the seminar, Volta announced to the industry for the first time that it had successfully launched the first domestically-made car wireless charging solution. This solution is based on the wireless charging transmitter with a maximum output power of 50 watts required by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. While meeting the AEC-Q100 certification for vehicles, it can also achieve 80% efficiency of the cutting-edge performance of automotive wireless charging. “Different from mature charging products that have already reached 90% efficiency on the consumer electronics wireless charging terminal, the circuit is more complicated due to the higher performance requirements of automotive electronics, and many protection, current limiting and detection functional circuits are used, thereby reducing the cost of the on-board wireless charging. Efficiency. At the same time, in order to improve the user experience in the charging scene with frequent shaking in the car, in-vehicle wireless charging often uses multiple coils, and the magnetic field coupling between the multiple coils will further reduce the efficiency.” Li Chen explained.
As car front-mounted wireless charging solutions need to meet stringent vehicle-level standards and have stricter performance requirements for operating temperature range, waterproof and dustproof, electromagnetic compatibility, etc., they will also affect the efficiency of wireless charging modules. “For example, car-level regulations have strict requirements on EMI, and wireless charging is an open radiated magnetic field, which must be fully considered in the design to avoid affecting other external equipment. Therefore, Volta has researched and actively reduced parasitic parameters, Adjust the speed and time of the drive so as not to interfere with other electronic products in the car.” Li Zhen emphasized. According to Li Jun, the current car wireless charging efficiency on the market is generally 70%+, and the 80% car charging efficiency of Volta can rely on its unique charging transmitter chip architecture, which is representative of the application of Volta’s original SmartBridge architecture. It has the characteristics of high reliability and high integration, and realizes the integration of all wireless charging functions into a single chip.
The evolution roadmap of Volta Semiconductor’s wireless charging and launching solution
Create a closed loop of wireless + wired fast charging, a leading growth path for the new generation of charging for seven years
As a semiconductor chip design company established in 2014, Volta still seems to be a new face outside the charging industry, but this does not affect the company’s lead in the wireless fast charging segment. Companies currently adopting Volta’s wireless fast charging solution in the market include Huawei, Xiaomi, Belkin and other top domestic and foreign manufacturers. Recently, many popular models such as Huawei P40, Xiaomi 11 Ultra, OPPO X3 Pro, etc., are equipped with Volta’s wireless fast charging solution. Charge plan.
The strategic layout of Vodafone’s full-field fast charging solution
As mentioned in the previous article, Volta has achieved a strong layout in the field of wired fast charging while focusing on the wireless charging market. Not long ago, it launched the current domestic charge pump wired fast charging chip with a single-chip charging power of up to 100W, and achieved 98%. Industry-leading efficiency. “Our products cover wireless charging receiving and transmitting chips, wired fast charging chips, display power chips, protection chips, and automotive power chips, achieving a full-scene charging closed-loop strategic layout. Voda is the only one that provides mature solutions for wired and wireless fast charging. Domestic semiconductor companies.” Li Jun said. As a new enterprise established for only seven years, through comprehensive innovations in process, design, packaging and power system architecture, Volta has gradually accumulated a number of core technologies and patents, and achieved market share from zero to industry-leading Gorgeous transformation.