Qualcomm’s next-gen charger is fitter, stronger, faster

2 Jun 2017

Image: sevenMaps7/Shutterstock

As smartphones grow more and more powerful, suitable batteries are needed to power them. Qualcomm claims to have developed the next fast-charge tool.

Quick Charge is one of Qualcomm’s proudest tools, with it supplementing the company’s primary market of processor manufacturing nicely.

Every smartphone – or internet of things device for that matter – needs power, needs a charge. The quicker this can be done, using the least amount of electricity, the better.

Quick Charge has developed significantly in the past few years, with Qualcomm claiming that the fourth generation – released six months ago – is already old hat.

Quick Charge 4 Plus has been revealed, with some headline improvements already lauded by the manufacturer. The upgrade is compatible with any Quick Charge 4-compliant devices, which is a rarity as usually, devices must incorporate a new chip to avail of the better speeds.

All that manufacturers need to do is ensure that ‘dual charge’, ‘intelligent thermal balancing’ and ‘advanced safety features’ are implemented on these devices. These are hardware fixes, rather than software, so existing products in the market will likely be stuck on Quick Charge 4.

If these requirements are satisfied, Qualcomm said charge times will improve by up to 15pc, become more efficient by up to 30pc, and be up to three degrees Celsius cooler.

Batteries not included

Batteries and charge times are under constant appraisal, though today’s industry might not last as is.

John Goodenough, one of the inventors of the lithium-ion battery, is behind a new variant to make that 1980 discovery obsolete.

The new cells are low-cost and non-combustible, with a long battery life, a high volumetric energy density, and fast rates of charge and discharge.

This puts the batteries on a plain far above what lithium-ion alternatives can operate on, which could be of significant importance in the coming years.

The battery cells have at least three times as much energy density as lithium-ion batteries, providing for added range, should electric vehicles use them.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic