Wireless device recharging is coming to laptops, says Intel

Modern notebooks are loaded with wireless technologies. The 802.11 alphabet soup covers Wi-Fi networking, while various flavors of Bluetooth provide peripheral connectivity. NFC chips are even working their way into mobile PCs. Next year, we could also see systems with wireless charging capabilities.

Some portable devices can already be charged sans wires, but they rely on inductive technology that requires physical contact with a special charging surface. Intel is working with Integrated Device Technology on a different approach that uses resonance to recharge drained batteries. The technology doesn’t require physical contact between the charger and chargee, but the two have to be within about an inch of each other.

According to an Intel blog post, IDT will have a wireless charging chipset ready in early 2013. Haswell-based ultrabooks are expected to arrive later next year, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see some of them support resonant charging. Intel says it’s working with notebook and peripheral makers, among others, to offer inexpensive wireless charging solutions. This seems like the sort of feature that’s going to start at the high end before trickling down to more affordable devices, though.

Comments closed
    • xeridea
    • 7 years ago

    Seriously, whats the point of having wireless charging if the range is 1 inch? So instead of setting laptop down to charge, or on desk and plugged in, you instead set laptop down in a specific area, and can not move it around or bump it or anything, or it will die.

    Apple, for all of their evil, and bogus general patents, has a sweet idea, magnetic charger end, so slightly easier to plug in, and will not break if you trip on it. To me, this is 0 value added, just a marketing scheme to be able to sell it for more (surely the wireless won’t be cheap), and call it an ultra ultrabook, that is totally to die for, kind of like perceived value of Apple products, because they cost more, and are shiny.

      • chuckula
      • 7 years ago

      I tend to agree that the wireless charging is not amazing, but it does have some advantages when you will be placing the notebook one a surface on a regular basis (like a desk in your office). You don’t have to extract the charging cable from your bag, plug it in, and then unplug when you are done. Even the magsafe still requires plugging. It’s not a “must have” feature but a “nice” feature assuming it doesn’t add substantial cost or bulk.

        • xeridea
        • 7 years ago

        With this, you are still going to have 2 chargers (wired and wireless). So you wouldn’t need to extract the cord from bag if you had a dedicated desk charger plugged in. I don’t see how it would be worth extra cost or inefficiency over time for charging.

      • Sahrin
      • 7 years ago

      >Seriously, whats the point of having wireless charging if the range is 1 inch?

      So you’ve never come in from work, set your cell phone/MP3 on the desk and forgotten to plug it in? Ever?

      I do this all the time. It would be a huge advantage to just have to ‘hit the right spot’ to charge your devices.

        • Deanjo
        • 7 years ago

        Laying it near or plugging it in the dock, not much difference.

          • Sahrin
          • 7 years ago

          What dock? The only device I have that plugs in a dock is my laptop – and the dock is at work.

            • Deanjo
            • 7 years ago

            Oh pretty much any tablet or phone has a dock available for it.

      • SnowboardingTobi
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<]Apple, for all of their evil, and bogus general patents, has a sweet idea, magnetic charger end, so slightly easier to plug in, and will not break if you trip on it.[/quote<] Actually that wasn't an Apple idea. It's been used on some Japanese made rice cookers and water heaters (for making tea) for years before Apple brought the magsafe connector. I should know since I had such a rice cooker before.

        • Game_boy
        • 7 years ago

        Them rice cooker companies are going down.

        • xeridea
        • 7 years ago

        Interesting, I didn’t know.

      • mkk
      • 7 years ago

      The magnetic connector can and does break. There were plenty of stories around when the connector was hot news, and Apple would not cover it over warranty because the user should not pull the cord like they did in the ads. Wireless is much better even if essentially limited to touch-range for reasonable efficiency.

      • designerfx
      • 7 years ago

      it’s also a proprietary charger, which is a pain in the ass and raises costs. No thanks. So apple, for all their evil, continues to do evil. Are people really this ignorant? If you can’t buy the part from someone else, you just upped your own cost and lowered the value fo the device.

        • Zoomer
        • 7 years ago

        It’s apple, of course it’s proprietary. Duh.

      • nafhan
      • 7 years ago

      The magnetic charger has to be big enough to have strong magnets in it. That’s less feasible with devices that need to fit in your pocket. Also, wireless charging means you can carry one less cable with you when you travel. That’s desirable, IMO.

      As an aside, wireless charging will allow for COMPLETELY sealed phones. No rubber door; completely sealed, which will make waterproofing easier to do and more effective. I’d love it if all cell phones were waterproof…

      • Chrispy_
      • 7 years ago

      My favourite part of the word “magsafe” was “safe”,

      So very safe; [url=http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=magsafe+fire&hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=vY9&rls=org.mozilla:en-GB:official&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=QJ8_UKaWLsrC0QWKtIGACg&ved=0CCwQsAQ&biw=1920&bih=941<]Nothing to see, move along now....[/url<]

    • ludi
    • 7 years ago

    For those who are wondering about the method and the efficiency, start here:

    [url<]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resonant_inductive_coupling[/url<] For those who clicked, saw a lot of Greek, and said "kthxbye," this is the electrical equivalent of blowing air across a plastic bottle to find its tuned frequency, then singing the same note and feeling the bottle vibrate from several inches away (but not at other nearby frequencies, which the bottle hardly picks up at all). When the transmitter and receiver match at a resonant frequency, energy is transmitted from source to load over a modest distance of open air at high efficiency. The principle is similar to an electric power transformer, except that a transformer relies on an iron core to efficiently transfer the electromagentic field between two coils, while this relies on resonance to efficiently transfer the field through air. Since air transfer without resonance is otherwise inefficient, this shouldn't be any more disruptive than other types of ordinary radio signals. The technology is already in use for some RFID devices and medical implants and has been experimentally proven with larger consumer devices such as electric cars.

    • moose17145
    • 7 years ago

    despite the negative comments about the efficiency of this (though rightly so… compared to plugging directly into an outlet the efficiency will be horrid), I have been wishing for years that this was around. I am STILL in college, and would LOVE it if universities would / could get charging tables that could charge / power a laptop just by setting the machine down on it. It would certainly solve the issue of making sure that i am within reach of a free outlet. But by the time I graduate this technology will only just be coming out in very small numbers, so sadly i won’t see the benefits of it.

    Also i wish i had money for a new laptop battery… mine has a dead cell in it, so it has about 15 minutes of battery power before it dies. 🙁

      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      have you considered stealing one? certainly in college you could find somebody who isn’t paying attention. if you aren’t willing to steal one, you must not really care.

        • moose17145
        • 7 years ago

        Well since i have morals, and am not a thief, the other issue would also be that not many people have the same laptop i do. I am not using the cookie cutter laptops that are all identical to each other that most college kids have. In fact i think i have only seen one laptop on campus that had a compatible battery with mine. Also i do not live on campus. I live in a house off campus. I am only ever on campus when i am in classes. Otherwise i am at home / work. And it’s gonna be hard to steal something in a classroom filled with a bunch of other people who would all see me stealing something that they know full well isn’t mine.

          • NeelyCam
          • 7 years ago

          Do you torrent music/video? Pirated copies of games?

            • moose17145
            • 7 years ago

            First, none of what you listed is theft. Stealing would imply that in the process of my taking said item that i am deny someone else of their ability to have or use said item. None of which happens when something gets pirated or torrented.

            Second, no. I do not torrent things much anymore. I used to about ten years ago back when i was 16 and still in high school and had nothing but free time on my hands. But i grew out of that phase a long time ago. But i am sure you will use that argument to make up some bs claim about how im a terrible person because of things that i did when i was a lot younger a decade ago.

            Third, i wish i pirated games. That would imply i had enough free time to at least play computer games anymore. But alas that i do not, thus i dont. Back when i was in high school i got a pirated copy of far cry at a lan party. I was so impressed with it i went out the next day and bought my own copy. Actually i cant think of any games i have on my machine that i didnt pay for… even back in high school i tended to pay for all my games. But games were better back then imo and more deserving of my money. Anymore most new games areant even deserving of the little free time that i do have to myself.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            hahahhahhaha you fell right into my trap!

            and you don’t know if he’s in the US. you want to talk piracy of music in Canada, you’re not going to do very well!

            • NeelyCam
            • 7 years ago

            I consider the American laws as the Ultimate Truth that should be applied in every country of the world. Hence, your last sentence is irrelevant.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            Lolirl

            • moose17145
            • 7 years ago

            And here all I wanted to get across was that I could see how this could be very useful for a college university despite and inefficiency downfall and how I have been wishing that this had been around for several years now…

            Also typing this on my laptop is seriously much nicer and easier than using my phone like I did for my last comment.

            • NeelyCam
            • 7 years ago

            [quote<]Also typing this on my laptop is seriously much nicer and easier than using my phone like I did for my last comment.[/quote<] And this is why tablets will always suck and Real Laptops will always be better

    • brucethemoose
    • 7 years ago

    I have the feeling this tech will be proprietary, as in it’ll only work with Intel ultrabooks. And it won’t be because devices without Intel’s blessing aren’t capable of supporting it.

    Yay vendor lock-in!

      • chuckula
      • 7 years ago

      Yeah, just like how Intel USB, Intel PCIe, Intel Memory, and Intel Network adapters are proprietary and only work with Intel parts…

        • brucethemoose
        • 7 years ago

        Intel Insider? Thunderbolt? Non-upgradable ultrabooks?

        Those are some of Intel’s most recent developments (though recent ultrabooks are less locked down than they used to be).

          • derFunkenstein
          • 7 years ago

          All decisions made by OEMs. Thunderbolt could be on AMD boards. Non-upgradable ultrabooks are made as such by the OEM.

          • MadManOriginal
          • 7 years ago

          wtf is ‘Intel Insider’?

            • chuckula
            • 7 years ago

            Proprietary movie service that nobody uses.. it was the only semi-valid point in his rant, although the fact that nobody uses it kind of makes it less important, and the fact that he had to go out and dig up an obscure reference like that to prove his point wasn’t that helpful either.

        • Deanjo
        • 7 years ago

        PCI-SIG PCIe and JEDEC memory. USB is a bit of a bad example as well since many devices has specified intel USB controllers (most notibly audio gear which will not even support any other implementations).

      • NeelyCam
      • 7 years ago

      Someone might call it proprietary; someone else a ‘value add’ or a ‘differentiator’ (sort of like Intel WiDi).

      Nobody is forcing anyone to charge a phone with this thingy.

        • brucethemoose
        • 7 years ago

        That’s what I mean, really. This charging tech probably won’t be locked down, but I don’t expect it to be some universal standard like USB or ATX, which would be really nice.

        Charging an ultrabook with a specific accessory would be neat enough. Charging anything, like a phone or camera, would be really nice.

        • sweatshopking
        • 7 years ago

        just like PhysX!

        edit…. wtf… internet explorer 10 just autocorrected physx into the branded PhysX….

          • NeelyCam
          • 7 years ago

          The Way It’s Meant To Be Written..

          Can you try that with ultrabook and ultrathin?

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            ultrabook ultrathin

            nope, no change.

            • NeelyCam
            • 7 years ago

            disappointed

            I guess NVidia marketing dept is way better than whatever Intel/AMD interns are trying to comprise

    • MadManOriginal
    • 7 years ago

    I’ll be interested to see how efficient these charging methods are, unfortunately I don’t think they will be too good.

      • puppetworx
      • 7 years ago

      Given that the power transmitted declines with the inverse square of the distance the efficiency can only be horrendous unless they have some way of focusing the energy. Either way it’s a waste of energy for negligible benefit.

        • sweatshopking
        • 7 years ago

        yeah, i don’t really get the point of this…. within an inch?

        [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnDhQVriIAY[/url<] why bother? might as well plug the thing in, or use induction tech.

        • nafhan
        • 7 years ago

        Not my field of expertise, but… I don’t think the inverse square law will be a primary efficiency consideration here. Inverse square law would be more appropriate if they were for instance painting a receive with radio waves or a laser or something. Instead, power is probably transmitted via inductive coupling. I think the problem is that the necessary magnetic field strength drops off quickly with distance.

        As an aside… the inverse square law doesn’t mean that less power is available to the receiver. It means that the available power is going to be more spread out. Directional antennas (or lasers) at the transmitter coupled with large receivers can minimize power losses due to the inverse square law.

    • Usacomp2k3
    • 7 years ago

    The most exciting advancement in tech, IMHO, is wireless power. Whether it be inductive, resonant, or even Line-of-sight, this enables a whole host of technical achievement currently not feasible. I imagine a day where we can have Access Points and never have to worry about cables again.

      • entropy13
      • 7 years ago

      If certain things that happened back then haven’t, maybe Tesla would have indeed developed wireless power more than a century ago.

        • NeelyCam
        • 7 years ago

        Tesla < Edison

          • Geistbar
          • 7 years ago

          No! Tesla was by far the better engineer. Edison’s gift was business. I know it’s the new hip thing on the internet to love Tesla and rag on Edison, but I feel that Tesla is by far the more interesting, impressive, and intelligent of the two.

            • wierdo
            • 7 years ago

            Yep, Edison was actually the MPAA of his period more or less, things luckily didn’t go his way, hopefully that part of history repeats itself in our times as well.

            [url<]http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2010/09/thomas-edisons-plot-to-destroy-the-movies/[/url<]

            • entropy13
            • 7 years ago

            Edison was the primary reason the movie studios moved to California: so they can avoid paying him for his patents! LOL

          • BobbinThreadbare
          • 7 years ago

          Maybe at electrocuting elephants.

          • ludi
          • 7 years ago

          Now [i<]there[/i<] be a quality troll effort.

    • odizzido
    • 7 years ago

    Assuming that these are safe for humans to use over the long term, I’d love for places like starbucks to offer charging tables.

      • NeelyCam
      • 7 years ago

      That’s a very good point. No need to carry your USB adapter all over the place..

        • Deanjo
        • 7 years ago

        No instead you just have to wear lead lined underwear.

          • chuckula
          • 7 years ago

          How would that be any different from what I wear now?

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            IT WOULD JUST MAKE YOU NORMAL!

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