Intel Chips to Support Wireless Charging by 2014

The chipmaker may offer an alternative technology to the Qi standard supported by the Wireless Power Consortium.

Intel is betting on wireless charging and plans to build the technology into its products by the end of next year. Transmitters would be built into the notebooks and ultrabooks, with receivers built into a wide range of devices using Intels chips.

Details are rather scant, although company representatives told The Register on Thursday that charging times are similar to charging via USB. Intels Developer Forum takes place in San Francisco next month, so theres a chance well hear more on Intels wireless charging plans then.

The chipmaker is entering a market where there is already a proposed standard called Qi. Qi has received a wide array of support, including Energizer, Texas Instruments, Verizon, and phone manufacturers including Nokia, Research In Motion, LG, and HTC.

Currently, 88 products are listed by the Wireless Power Consortium as being Qi-compatible, including phones from NTT DoCoMo and HTC.

Intel is not a part of that group, and its wireless charging effort is based ona platform created by IDT is apparently not Qi-compatible. Since Qi is already getting widespread support and Intel's chips have made it in to very few mobile devices so far, Intel has some work ahead if it is to be a success.

To date, not a single Intel-powered smartphone has sold in the U.S., and its list of partners -- Lava, Orange, Lenovo, and ZTE -- are better known overseas than in Intel's home turf. Motorola is also a partner and plans to release its own phone on September 18, with an overseas debut expected for that device as well.

That doesn't seem to faze Intel, though. We are delighted to work with IDT to accelerate the progress toward that vision with their unique and proven skill to integrate the required features and functionality into a monolithic solution, Intel's PC growth and innovation chief Gary Huang says in a statement. Customers and consumers alike have asked for a fully mobile wireless charging experience, and it is our objective to deliver it through the power of PC.

For more tech news and commentary, follow Ed on Twitter at @edoswald, on Facebook or on Google+ as well as Today @ PCWorld.

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Ed Oswald

PC World (US online)
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