The Future of Charging Technology and Consumer Electronics
What technology can greatly improve the development of human technology and consumer electronics? One of the solutions is charging technology.
The development of rechargeable battery technology has lagged behind the development of human technology. According to Moore’s Law, when prices remained unchanged, the number of components on an integrated circuit can accommodate as well as performance doubles every 18 to 24 months. This law reveals the speedy advancement in information technology with this trend going on for half a century. During this half a century, the processing speed of chips have increased multiple times, but battery charging technology has had no technical or fundamental breakthrough. The fast-paced improvements inevitably demand for improvement in electricity and battery. In this situation, quick charge technology becomes the only hope.
Desire for the Development of the Smartphone Charging Technology
Currently for consumer electronics, the smartphone is the one that has the highest demand for charging innovation. When the cellphone first started out, the performance was limited, so an ordinary charge is enough. However, with the appearance of smartphones, the demand for battery capacity and charging technology has sharply increased as the desire for significant performance results in increased power consumption.
Charging technology development brings two meanings to the mobile phone industry:
High Voltage Technique Can Avoid Charging Cable High Current Limit
We all know that, in order to improve the charging rate, increasing the charging power is the key. Power (W) = current x voltage. Currently, universal Micro USB interface and our USB data cable can only guarantee a safe and efficient transfer of current 2A generally. A majority of hardware can’t support it once the current exceeds 2A, except a few good quality hardware can support current 3A. So it must take into account the possibility of bad data cables or USB port, therefore, just increasing the current in these inferior parts is prone to accidents.
A high voltage technology method - Improve voltage charger USB interface. Voltage charging power can be increased to improve the interface, without replacing ports or data lines. It can save costs significantly.
The charger of quick charge connects with the phone through micro USB interface to the middle of the two lines (D + D-) to communicate on the applied voltage and regulate the output voltage of QC2.0. The procedure is as follows: when the charger is connected to the end of the phone via data cable, charger default by MOS let D + D- shorting, then the phone charger detects the DCP (special charge port mode). Now with the output voltage of 5v, mobile phones can charge properly. If the phone supports QC2.0 fast charging protocol, the Android user space HVDCP process will start to load voltage 0.325V in the D +. When this voltage lasts for 1.5s, the charger will disconnect the D + and D-. The voltage on the D- will decrease. After D- mobile terminal voltage is detected on the decline, HVDCP get preset phone charger voltage value, such as 9V, then D + on the voltage is set to 3.3V, the voltage on the D- 0.6V, charger output 9v voltage.
QC Qualcomm technology is Four Times Faster Than the Traditional
Released in 2012, Qualcomm QC1.0 technology supports up to 10W of charging, which means under 5V charging voltage, the current can be up to 2A. The release of QC2.0 in 2013 is an upgrade from QC1.0 that increases the charge power to 36W and shortens the charging time.
QC2.0 has two standards: A and B. A-level is for mobile phones, tablets, and other electronic devices. Qualcomm’s official data claims the maximum charging current of QC2.0A is level 3A. With a current of 5V, the charging power is 15W, therefore the charging speed is faster than QC1.0’s 10W.
QC2.0 solves a conventional mobile phone charging current limit problems. And because of the increase of output voltage of the charger, the issue of the smartphone charger’s loop circuit impedance limiting charging current has been successfully solved. However, its disadvantage is that the efficiency is still not very high, and causes too much heat for phone while charging. The latest release QC3.0 from Qualcomm makes up for this problem successfully.
QC2.0 charge rate is four times faster than the conventional, and two times faster than Quick Charge 1.0. The charging efficiency of QC3.0 is 38% higher than QC2.0. Quick Charge 3.0 intelligence uses the optimum voltage (INOV) algorithm, it can determine the power needed at any time to achieve optimum power transfer according to different devices, while maximizing efficiency at any time. Furthermore, its range of options for the voltage is wider, and the mobile terminal can be dynamically adjusted to its optimum voltage level. Specifically, Quick Charge 3.0 supports more fine-grained selection voltage - 200mV increments to a file, provides the flexibility to choose from 3.6V to 20V voltage. Then your phone can select the most suitable one file from dozens of power levels, improve the charging efficiency reduces the loss, known as "Compared with Quick Charge 2.0, reduces the power consumption up to 45%."
MediaTek Pump Express Fast Charging Technology
Though it differs from Qualcomm QC2.0 in implementation, it has same purpose. Qualcomm QC2.0 is achieved by D + and D- signals to the USB port of the regulator, while MediaTek Pump Express fast charge technology, through the VBUS USB port to correspond to the charger and apply the corresponding output voltage. QC2.0 is configured through voltage D + and D- way communication. Pump Express uses current pulses on VBUS to communicate. But the ultimate goal is to enhance the charging voltage to 5V, 7V, and 9V.
(Fast charge technology VBUS VBUS current and voltage waveforms)
(Quick charge technology principle diagram of the charger, and the principle of profile)
The advantage of quick charge technology is similar to QC2.0. The increased output voltage of the charger solves the charging current limitation problem. While the disadvantage is also similar to QC2.0, since the charger regulator gear spans relatively large, it can cause the phone side road charging in low efficiency. Thus, MTK Pump Express Plus fast charge technology was innovated. Pump Express Plus technology is similar with Qualcomm QC3.0, it increases the number of stalls regulator, and each file is 200mV. It can apply an appropriate voltage to the charger according to the current phone battery voltage and charge loop attenuation, in order to achieve to maximize power efficiency, to further reduce the amount of heat in the phone during charging.
VOOC Flash Charging Technology
Another technical method is the VOOC flash charge from OPPO. Since hardware can’t support current that exceeds 2A. In order for devices to support a greater power, they transform the hardware from head to toe, so that the device can support not only high voltage but also high current, and make the device achieve faster charging.
The biggest difference between flash charge VOOC technology and traditional charging method is that it transfers the largest source of heat to the charge control circuit terminal adapter. Then the control circuit is in the adapter, and the battery being charged is in the mobile phone side. It successfully solves heat issues while being charged. In order to better control the charging processes (such as control circuits require real-time monitoring battery voltage, temperature, etc.), OPPO adds the intelligent control chip MCU to adapter end, and the adapter achieves a charge control circuit, with intelligent charging controlling the whole process.
OPPO is the first mobile phone manufacturer that uses VOOC technology. It can support up to 25W charging speed and still has competitors. MOTO X STYLE also can support up to 20W charging speed, it has been relatively close to the speed of the OPPO.
In the recently released products, there is a charging technology known as ten times faster than QC2.0. It means it can fully charge a phone in three minutes may no longer be a dream. Only reach this speed, quick-charging technology will achieve more goals.
SIMPIZ, a technology company from Silicon Valley, has debuted the product, iTron, in the 2016 CES. Though it’s just a mobile power product, if iPhone used the product’s exclusive DUBI charging chip, iPhone can be fully charged in three minutes, never again do we need to consider the problem of mobile phone battery life.
The core of the technology is a unique 4-channel charging technology that shunts the charging current, reduces the electricity loss (discharge) as much as possible, protects against 8 factors, and optimizes the charging voltage and charging current to achieve precision quick charge. With a maximum speed of 150w, it can fully charge a 9000mAh in 18 minutes, it’s 10 times faster than QC2.0, and 8 times faster than QC3.0. They currently have a pre-sale discount code on their official website for their upcoming launch on Indiegogo in March.
Quick charge will completely change our charging habits and even smartphone usage habits! The traditional charging method is not fast enough, customers have to wait. So some people develop a habit of charging at night during sleeping. Because no one wants to wait two to three hours while charging, power banks becomes more and more popular.
However, with quick charge, everything will change. Even if people forget to charge their phone at night which leads to low or dead battery, as long as they plug in their phone while they are taking shower in the morning, they will have enough power. With the increasingly wide coverage of 3G and 4G networks, people can finish work and be entertained. Therefore, quick charge precisely adapts to the actual situation of fragmented smartphone use.
The significance of quick charge lies not only in saving an hour or two. More importantly, the quick charge time can be important to reduce time wasted, especially in times of emergencies. In other words, the more you value your time, the more meaningful quick charge is to you. If time is of no concern to you, then quick charge is not as important.