The technology of wireless charging has the wind in its sails. The trend to embed wireless charging capability into consumer devices has been led by the Wireless Power Consortium’s (WPC) Qi charging standard, which is the most widely adopted technology for the wireless charging of smartphones.
For various reasons, the Qi technology is poorly suited to the charging of very small or wearable devices such as activity-tracking wristbands, wireless earphones or smart glasses. One seemingly ideal alternative is NFC, the technology behind contactless payments and ticketing, since another of the inherent features of NFC, alongside data communication, is energy harvesting.
Yet despite the almost universal provision of NFC functionality in smartphones, NFC charging has been implemented in only a handful of small devices: this is because the power transmitted by the poller – typically less than 1W at the antenna – limits the scope to charge devices which have a larger battery capacity.
Now, however, the Panthronics NFC architecture promises to more than double the power that can be supplied via an NFC connection, while also providing a reduction in component count, bill-of-materials cost and system size.