Apple might be shopping wireless charging chips from MediaTek for upcoming iPhone accessories


According to China's Economic Daily News, Apple has requested wireless charging chip samples from Taiwanese semiconductor powerhouse MediaTek. Reportedly, Apple is likely to create wireless charging peripherals for the iPhone, such as cases and other accessories. Fellow technological firms NXP and IDT will also send Apple samples.

MediaTek's wireless charging system supports multi-mode wireless charging at the receiver, using a single coil, single matching network, and a single IC to receive charge based on all of the currently accepted standards, such as A4WP Rezence, Qi, or PMA. The solution lets manufacturers such as Apple implement wireless charging in their devices without concerns for compatibility and interoperability between current standards.

In particular, the A4WP resonant charging standard allows for supporting different form factors and features the ability for charging at a distance, bringing freedom of placement and the convenience of charging multiple devices from a single charger. To the contrary, Qi and PMA are based on induction charging and aren't adapted to different form factors as easily. Moreover, they usually require one charger per device. Third-party wireless charging cases for the iPhone are currently available, though they follow after the Qi and the PMA standards, or proprietary magnetic charging systems.

We'll have to wait and see what Apple is envisioning. The ability to wirelessly charge an iPhone at a distance will be a strong functionality addition, beyond doubt.

source: DigiTimes, MediaTek

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45 Comments

1. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

Maybe 2017 or so on. Not this year, they need to bring the hype to their fanbase every year ao they can sell.

3. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

I'm not sure what tech they can bring to the table. Sony and Samsung already have the most feature rich smartphone. Although they're both android and iphone is the only smartphone for ios.

9. yyzamin

Posts: 380; Member since: Aug 26, 2015

Feature/Gimmick rich but not revolutionary. iOS10 is revolutionary.

10. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

Really? Hahaha. Such a hypocrite. What is revolutionary about ios10? The split screen? Or the ability to change the themes? Educate me how ios 10 is way ahead of kitkat upto nougat.

12. cnour

Posts: 2305; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

When Apple decides to do something, it will do it in a perfect way as usual. Look where is Samsung now with their exploding batteries.

20. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

So the iPhone has never had any hardware issues? This is about a supplier's defective component, a battery no less, something everyone assumes will be decent. It's no surprise it flew under the radar. But you got a green thumb, YAY!!!

14. darkkjedii

Posts: 30900; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Revolutionary how? It's a great update, with much needed features, that I'm excited for, but it's evolutionary.

16. sissy246

Posts: 7035; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

LMAO keep thinking that.

5. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

That's how Apple's business tactic is: incremental updates. Apple does not stuff all of the currently available innovations in it's iPhones, so as to hype the iFans which adition of the features available long ago in other competitors' devices. Example: When Apple release the first iPhone, it could not do what even dumb phones like Nokia N-series could do, like video recording for example. Wasn't Apple aware of those existing fearures and couldn't Apple implement it in the first iPhone? But they keep those basic featutes for feature "upgrades" in the next iPhones, so as to keep milking them iFans and hype them with those "innovations". Heck, even the old Galaxy S3 features wireless charging. SMH

2. BradyCrack

Posts: 835; Member since: Dec 29, 2015

So if I put on a special wireless case I can charge my iPhone 7 from a distance? The iPhone 7 will be a monster if it comes with this.

4. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

And Nikola Tesla figure it out long before we were born.

6. volcano

Posts: 348; Member since: Jan 25, 2013

thanks to "mediatek"

8. Tom5521

Posts: 41; Member since: Sep 04, 2016

That's not the wireless technology I want, I want real wireless tech without having to put my phone on a ridiculous plate. Until that technology will come I'll just use a cable to charge my phone. i can't believe they have that tech yet even reading this article.

18. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

My car does the wireless charging, but still running wires throughout the car. Side note, Google, pay some attention to Android Auto, don't do like Google voice.

21. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

and where is 5 meters (or so), true wireless charging they've been talking about? and now they ask MediaTek for standard wireless charging? lol....

22. Leo_MC

Posts: 6935; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

If it will do it right (and it can be done right), Apple will revolutionize mobile world again. And by right I mean distance wireless charging phones (at least a few meters, 3 for starters) combined with the removal of charging ports (no more cables). Imagine smart cities where the phones are charging when walking the streets; go inside a mall - the phone is charging, go inside a restaurant - the phone is charging etc. Where does the money come from? Well, the energy companies will be interested in developing this system (they charge a fee so that people can access their network); city administrations are going to want to invest in renewable energy by installing solar panels to the poles etc. Imagine millions of users (billions in a few years). And this is only the beginning. Can it be done today and cheap? Yes, Tesla is already doing it.

23. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

And who will be paying for the electricity to charge these devices? If it's a few people doing it that's one thing. If every phone out there is doing it, that's going to add up pretty quickly. There are also health risks to consider. Radio, TV, and cellular waves are already bombarding us, but these will need to be higher energy to charge a phone. Any high energy electromagnetic waves are not good for the human body. Have you ever heard when someone asks if you lived under power lines as a child when someone does something stupid? Even radio waves at high energy are harmful. My basic electronics teacher in college got an RF burn when he was working on a TV tower when he was younger, and he told us 30 years later he can still feel it from time to time. It's similar to a microwave oven. Plus, if they drop the charging port and something goes wrong with your phone and wireless isn't working or accessible, you've got yourself a nice paperweight.

24. Leo_MC

Posts: 6935; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

I have said that the price is going to be paid by the customer through a monthly fee - for the network made by electric companies - and it would be free (hopefully) for renewable energy (through solar panels on the poles). I don't have all the answers; of course the system should not affect the health and should only be thought when that is going to be possible. The same goes if the charging port of today breaks;'in both cases you take your phone to a repair shop.

25. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

So just to be able to walk around and have your phone charge without plugging it in, now you're going to be paying a fee to replace plugging it in? With anything like that, you're going to be paying more than you would just using your electric bill, because a network like that would be massive and these companies are going to need to recover their costs. So not only are you going to be paying for the electricity you use, but also the cost of the network itself. For instance, say at best the range would be 50 feet (which btw is well beyond the 3 or 4 feet they're talking about now), but even at 50 feet, think of how many transmitters that would take just to cover one city alone. If people thought Project Ara was a pipe dream, this is 1000 times more unbelievable. There isn't any way to get around reality, and the reality is that for any charging to be viable, the signal strength would be much higher than the signals our cellphones currently produce, and there is already debate over the health concerns of those at the levels they are. So instead of simply plugging your device into a computer to fix it, you'd have to take it into a repair shop to have them crack the case and access it that way? And what is the benefit of dropping the charging port? Waterproofing, which can already be done with the charging port in place? Eliminating wired headphones so we can deal with the short life of BT earbuds? I'm sorry, but I'm not seeing an upside to the scenario you're putting forth. Creating these networks and giving repair shops one more thing to charge for all so you don't have plug in a cable? That seems like a complete waste of time and resources for a tiny amount of convenience.

26. Leo_MC

Posts: 6935; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

There are visionary people and there are people that can't think outside their box. When iPhone was developed there were some that said it's impossible to interact without a stylus or buttons and here we are today almost getting read of all the buttons and not needing any stylus, except for dedicated usage scenarios. I do not know how much electricity my phone uses today - I'm sure it's only a mere a price of some cents/month - but I will gladly pay 5-10 euros/month for that wireless charging system. This system would benefit a large amount of services; for instance all the street lightning (imagine removing all the underground cables - no more destroying concrete sidewalks to repair them, no more "a block blackout" when there's the need to change a cable etc), electric cars inside the cities, powered by this wireless charging panels (less pollution=you're going to be healthier and live longer). Of course, I would never want something that affects the health of the people. With one OS I needed to plug the phone so that I could repair it (root it, changing roms etc), with other OS I didn't (even installing betas or rooting can be done wireless). OS is software, it can be change so that users can fix it without plugging the phone in ;). Besides, there's always the possibility to use a pad, plugged in a wall socket. Yes, I want to get rid of the cables completely, wouldn't that be awesome :)?

27. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Yes, I'm just a crochety old man who actually has a degree in electronics and wireless transmission, what do you do? Now you not only talking about charging phones, bit powering lights? Something takes even MORE power than charging a phone? And all of this is going to be solar powered? We've had solar power for decades now, and it's also not a viable option, the amount of power it produces isn't enough for most things. A neighbor installed solar panels a few years back, he was a visionary like you. He's able to run 2 appliances at one time, and not for very long. And electromagnetic waves are bad for human tissue once it reaches a certain strength, certainly higher than what we deal with currently which is what would be needed for your scenario. That's all well and good, if say your display is working. If it's not, and you want to recover your personal data and media from the device, you would have to take it in, no questions asked. I have dealt with 2 phones that the displays went out while the device still worked, a relelative's and a friend's. It would have cost them a minimum of one shop hour to retrieve that data (which in my area is around $40-60), where all I had to do is plug it into my computer and spend under an hour to copy it into a flash drive. For things where the display isn't working or the touchscreen isn't responsive, there are no two ways about it you'll have to take it in, period. How is a pad going to help you gain access to your device? Are you talking about simply charging it, because we can already do that. No, it wouldn't actually. Why pay to do something I already can for free? I mean, I guess I'm just not blowing enough of my money on worthless crap, I don't know.

28. Leo_MC

Posts: 6935; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

I too wasted 4 years of my life, studying electronics (wasted, because I changed my line of work). A light bulb (inside the house) uses 15-30 watts (in EU; 75-100 watts elsewhere, but we'll be using the smaller number); a phone only needs 5 w, so, a system that powers a bulb used on a pole to light the street can power at least 3 phones at a time (if it would use home light bulbs; in reality it could probably power 10 times more). I don't know where you live and what kind of solar panels did your friend installed, but I assure you that 100k euro can get you a renewable energy source that can power a household (even a small farm), and you will have surplus energy to sell. I have nothing to say about the effect of electromagnetic waves on the human body, because I have not studied; you might be right and, if you do, we only need to make sure the waves stay as low as possible. I have no data on my device that isn't automatically backed up in the cloud :); but I understand what you're saying, because there are a lot of users that don't have good internet connections. I would really love it if there would be no more cables (in my house I have already replaced everything I could with wireless systems and I would keep on doing that).

29. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

You can argue all you want, but to me it still sounds like trying to solve a problem that isn't there. It's similar to paying someone the same amount to wipe your rear when you finish using the bathroom. There is no getting around this. In a house, where the range of these is a few feet, that's one thing (although I have to wonder how long this will take to charge with such a low power signal). But to work in the fashion you're talking about, those transmitters would need to have a range of 50 feet minimum, and then you're really going to have to crack up the power. Or some people don't have the money to be able to automatically do that, because if it is automatic, that means you can't wait for WiFi all the time. And data is expensive here in the US. But again, removing the charging/data port sounds like a solution looking for a problem, much in the same way dropping the 3.5mm headphone jack is. Yes, but you would still need wires to carry electricity to your house. Even if you're using alternative energies like solar or wind, the amount of energy required to go wireless for thing like a heater or other electrical appliances would be huge.

30. Leo_MC

Posts: 6935; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Do you like to plugin the phone each and every day to charge it, because I don't and that's a problem that can be solved? But, as I have said, this would be the first step (the smallest) to whatever we can achieve TODAY, if we really want that and if someone pushes the boundaries. I'm starting to like the kid's mind more and more, because it is not limited by what they know; sure, there could be a lot of equations but - and if you're saying you have finished electronics, you must know that - they only exist to be solved. If the cost of the internet is to expensive for someone, maybe that person should change it's smartphone to a feature phone, because without being online all the time, every SP becomes a FP with bad battery life (I also supported the dropping of the jack since I had heard the first discussion about that; I want to listen to sounds, I don't care how they get to my years). How much power is needed to charge a S7 wireless vs. how much power is needed to charge it by wire?

31. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

It's really not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. But it does show how lazy society has become if this is really something we're focusing on. There's another word for that, it's called make-believe. That's why you don't see 5 year old engineers. There's nothing wrong with trying to solve problems, but there are important problems and frivolous problems. And really, the benefits are really worth the effort. You want a massive network built just so you don't have to it in your phone e once or twice a day? You're really arguing that the internet and plugging your phone in are the same thing? The internet connects people to each other, gives them information on news, weather, and personal interests, and allows them to save money by shopping around for the best deal. And then there's plugging in your phone to charge it. I think given the option of which to choose, they'll choose the internet given that even a child has the knowledge and ability to plug in a phone to charge. I honestly have no idea since I don't have that phone. Most standard chargers start out at 1A and go up to 2.5-3A. Regardless, just like the dropping of the headphone jack, this is a solution in search of a problem.

32. Leo_MC

Posts: 6935; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

The same could have been said about wireless internet (including the laziness to move off the couch to do some browsing, instead of picking up a laptop/tablet/phone), yet today most of the internet is provided and consumed wirelessly.

33. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Yes, because you don't have too many places like houses, hotels, and coffee shops with built in data jacks, so that would've meant rewiring those buildings. WiFi eliminates that, it allows internet to be added to places without having to wire multiple jacks but can still service the same number of people. Plus, it'd be really hard to connect an RJ45 cable to your smartphone. Electrical outlets OTOH are readily available so there's no issue for places having to rewire those buildings.

34. Leo_MC

Posts: 6935; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

You are right, but what do you do when you forget the cable at home? And it's a lightning cable or USB-C and the host doesn't have one :).

35. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

What do you do when you forget your underwear or toothbrush at home. You go and buy replacements. Or should we have a network of stores that give people underwear and toothbrushes if they forget theirs? Again, WiFi served as a benefit, internet without having to wire the building for it. What you're asking for is essentially to ignore what's already there and create a more costly solution. And just like with WiFi, the wired version of the same thing has better performance.

36. Leo_MC

Posts: 6935; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

You really thing that tomorrow we're going to remove the sockets? No, we won't, but I'm not so sure about the day after tomorrow; I will be ready, are you going to be ready too? Wireless charging will also serve a bigger benefit than wireless internet: we will never have to worry about charging electronic devices again (except when going hiking). Yes, I'm for destroying every part of the past that is stopping us from designing the future. Money. Think about that: each and every iPhone cable + charger cost 20+20 euro, 1 billion iPhones means we have payed 40 billion euro for charging accessories and only for iPhones; if we add Android devices (which are over 1 billion/year) and we are setting a cost to 20 euro, we have another 100 billion euro spent in the last 5 years (not to mention all of those that broke; I, for instance, have 2 cables for each phone: one at home, one in the car and one broken in the drawer). Don't you think there are a lot of money that could have gone into making my idea a reality?

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