IDT introduces contactless charging; may feature in future smartphones

Wanna get rid of all your charging cables? Ted Tewksbury, the chief executive of San Jose, California-based Integrated Device Technology is pushing for chips that might just change the face of charging via contactless charging, which needs you to simply place your phone on a specific spot and the rest will be done for you by the chip.

Contactless charging

Contactless charging



The chip that's already on sale involves twisting the existing technology, using inductive coupling, which yet needs to be mainstream for it to sell in masses. The idea behind this is to place your phone on a wireless charging spot as soon as your battery runs low. This will no more need you to untangle those knots caused due to those wires existing in your workplace. 


There are a couple of issues with this technology, which are that it needs itself to be built into some place, be it your car, your desk or anywhere you're likely to roam around. What Integrated Device Technology aims to do is, put it up at malls, airports, stations and wherever there will be a lot of people. This will charge up your phone as soon as you come near its field. Another negative point is that you don't really want your phone to charge when it's already fully charge as this would lead to reduced battery life. Frequent charging of phones when not needed is also a way to lose your battery life. 


Wireless charging needs a charger to be attached to the sockets via a wire, which in a way defeats the purpose, but in this 'contactless charging', you don't even need a wire, it'll charge on its own via inductive coupling. IDT aims to grab a big market share of a small wireless charging market and IDT thinks they could get $800 million by 2014.


A current passes through the electric coil inbuilt in the transmitter, which creates an electromagnetic field. A similar coil on the back of the phone will sense the electromagnetic field and turn it into electricity whenever the phone is in the range or frequency. The chip also has the capability to sense different phone models and if there is any other foreign object is in the middle. 


Tewksbury believes that if enough phone manufacturers back this technology and get it inbuilt in their phones, then, other forms of industry might also join in the bandwagon. Industries, like furniture makers adding this technology to their products, planes and airports having this technology built into their infrastructure. IDT says that once mainstream this would add less than $2 to the cost of manufacturing of the phones.


Tweksbury agrees that they aren't the only ones making this technology and have competition from Texas Instruments who makes cheaper chips, but he thinks IDT will be a market leader by 2014.

Published Date: Mar 27, 2012 06:13 pm | Updated Date: Mar 27, 2012 06:13 pm