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The Future of Wireless Charging in 2023

Photo: Practical Power
You'll be able to wirelessly recharge your earphones using your phone within a year. Additionally, you'll be able to charge a pen with practically any tiny IoT device without wires and an NFC-capable tablet.   The NFC Forum, a worldwide industry standards group, has defined the essential NFC wireless charging standard criteria, and several major companies have already manufactured these devices. With more than 3 billion cell phones already in use that support NFC, the market for NFC wireless charging is open and available.   The circumstances are aligning for 2023 to be the year of NFC wireless charging.   Why wireless charging using NFC? One-quarter of the world's population now has access to NFC technology, making it one of the most pervasive technologies in use today. 85% of customers utilise NFC technology, and over half would rather use their smartphone or wristwatch to make a purchase than a contactless card, according to an ABI Research research from 2022.   Wireless smartphone charging NFC The proliferation of NFC wireless charging across mobile devices, such as smartphones, smartwatches, fitness trackers, and other smartwatches, as well as tablets and other portable devices, is being fueled by its pervasiveness in 2023. The majority of them already communicate and transmit data via NFC technology.   Three years ago, the NFC Forum published a wireless charging protocol that allowed smartphones and other NFC-enabled devices to function as portable charging stations. This was the beginning of the movement toward NFC wireless charging. This implies that tiny battery-powered IoT devices may be wirelessly charged with 1 W and ultimately up to 3 W of electricity using NFC-enabled devices without the need of cords. These gadgets consist of smart eyewear, wireless earphones, digital stylus pens, fitness watches, and other gadgets.   In addition to the usual charger-receiver configurations, NFC wireless charging is also possible when an active digital stylus pen is put on a tablet device or when earphones are placed on top of a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone. In the latter case, the Universal pen Initiative (USI) piloted NFC wireless charging in conjunction with the NFC Forum and included it into the specification for their digital pen. The only open digital stylus standard available is from USI, the pioneer in non-exclusive active digital stylus technology. On Chromebooks from Google, it is standard.


The advantages of NFC wireless charging are due to the tiny NFC antenna's capacity for communication and wireless charging with other NFC-enabled devices. The advantages comprise:
  • Better accessibility since there are no cables involved; • Convenient charging
  • Simpler use for those with skin sensitivity to metallic material (up to 15% of the general population has a hypersensitivity to metal); • Enabling the use of mobile phones for device coding and configuration; • Better environmental sustainability through decreased e-waste with the elimination of wires and disposable batteries;
  De facto benchmark for power below 3 W According to the NFC Forum and industry experts, a parade of goods using NFC wireless charging technology will start to appear this year. The possibility is considerable, and several of the main market players have already begun to release NFC wireless charging chipsets.   The NFC wireless charging specification was written by Michael Stark, lead standards architect at NXP Semiconductors, who also serves as vice chair of the NFC Forum Board of Directors. "We created the NFC wireless charging specification to be a simple, certified technology to wirelessly charge small IoT devices using NFC when cables are not an option," he said. The de facto wireless charging standard for tiny IoT devices up to 3 W is to be NFC wireless charging, according to the company's mission statement.   The Wireless Power Consortium's Qi wireless charging standard is complemented with Qi NFC wireless charging, which improves the whole wireless charging ecosystem. While NFC wireless charging presently targets 250- to 1,000-mW charging with the potential to enhance support to at least 3 W, Qi is focused on wireless charging over 5 W.   As an integrated console solution, Qi and NFC already work well together. NFC card protection is generally used in Qi chargers as well. Additionally, this NFC interface has the ability to wirelessly charge devices like car key fobs.   The corporate device market has a substantial potential for NFC wireless charging, delivering benefits and cost reductions in terms of design.   According to Marek Trusinski, engineering fellow, solutions architect, technology lead, and NFC subject matter expert at Zebra Technologies, NFC wireless charging might act as a supplementary power-charging source and assist in addressing numerous enterprise-market use cases as it develops over 3 W. Because corporate devices often have larger charging needs, plans envisage for increasing NFC wireless charging beyond 3 W to maybe 5 W in the future.


Dinesh Kithany, principal analyst at Wired and Wireless Technology, forecasts strong growth for the high-frequency-based wireless charging business, including NFC charging, with quick acceptance and a prediction of 100 million receiver units by 2026 in his most recent study on the global wireless power market. Given the widespread use of wireless power transmitter devices, such as cellphones and/or tablets with NFC capabilities, the availability of NFC charging might result in a twofold increase in the shipping of reception devices.   STMicroelectronics and NXP are two of the early adopters of NFC wireless charging, with chip makers leading the way. NFC wireless charging for a range of NFC-enabled systems is a feature of products in ST's ST25 line of NFC and RFID tag and reader ICs.   According to Peter Neger-Loibner, NFC product marketing manager at STMicroelectronics, "NFC wireless charging provides easy integration into small applications through tiny antenna footprints, with targeted antenna dimensions ranging down to below 0.15 in.2 [1 cm2]." These items may be the perfect match for complicated form factors when using PCB or flex-PCB antennas. NFC wireless charging is very practical for customers and simple for developers to implement because of its simplicity and adaptability.   Additionally, Panthronics AG expanded its product portfolio to include wireless charging capabilities. PTX130W, an NFC Bluetooth wireless charging poller IC, and PTX30W, a fully incorporated listener IC, are two of its next-generation system solutions.   According to Alessandro Goitre, director of product management at Panthronics, "our goal is to simplify NFC wireless charging technology, making things easier for our customers and accelerating its adoption into new applications. This does not imply that we sacrifice performance; rather, we keep raising the bar for what is possible. The desire to take advantage of NFC wireless charging is expanding. I believe that the NFC-based age, which will include wearables like digital styluses, smart glasses and [smart] rings, hearables, and medical sensors, is just getting started. With the help of NFC wireless charging, all of these products will enhance the user experience."   With a focus on the density of the power (received power/PCB size) and the incorporation of system functions, such as temperature management and battery charge, Infineon Technologies is creating a new turnkey NFC wireless charging solution.   Director of Product Marketing and Business Development at Infineon Qi Zhu said, "Our goal is to help customers achieve a very cost-effective implementation of NFC functions." "Reducing the overall cost of ownership is one factor. Customers are demanding a greater degree of integration due to the PCB size restriction of tiny products."   Collaboration paves the way for a brighter future. To provide a solid basis for a complete industry, a tremendous amount of labour is required. More than 300 firms participate in the NFC Forum, and forum members work with dozens of technical groups to promote the NFC ecosystem.   According to NFC Forum's Stark, "you need a reliable base that enables interoperability among the different providers, and it must be future-proof, to ensure a use case can adopt a certain technology where many different players are involved." The NFC Forum delivers global standards to NFC contactless charging since it is the only way to achieve that goal. In 2023, the market for wireless charging is expected to be worth US$16,954.6 million. By the end of 2033, the market for wireless charging is expected to be worth US$ 150,889.5 million, an increase in sales of 24.4% CAGR.   The widespread use of wireless charging is one of the most discussed recent innovations in the area of wireless energy transfer. Along with the rise in adoption of wireless mobile devices, the need for wireless charging solutions has increased. The components of a wireless charging system include a charging station, a power source, and a battery receiver.   It provides a number of benefits over more traditional charging methods, including the ability to power and charge electrical devices safely, affordably, effectively, and reliably. Cables, connections, and wires are no longer required. As a consequence of its numerous benefits, wireless charging solutions will become more and more common.   Electric vehicles (EVs) have grown in popularity over the last few years due to their improved performance and reduced fuel usage. Governments all across the globe are actively pushing people to transition to electric cars, which is an added benefit. The growth of EVs should accelerate the development of wireless charging. The market for wireless charging is growing as a result of the widespread use of wireless technology in consumer devices. The ability of wireless charging systems to charge many devices is anticipated to play a significant role in the industry's growth. Additionally, governments all over the globe have passed strict laws and regulations to provide a risk-free working environment for all industrial personnel. Businesses active in the ecosystem for wireless charging will benefit from the government's encouraging measures.   The growing usage of the internet has led to charging issues with many cellphones and other transportable gadgets. This problem can be resolved using a quick wireless radio frequency energy-based recharge. As a result, it is estimated that during the anticipated period, demand for effective charging methods for portable and mobile devices would be the primary factor driving the growth of the wireless charging market.   Additionally, in recent years, interest in the "internet of things" has increased. Similar to how portable IoT infrastructure goods need a wireless charging solution, so do tablets, smartphones, laptops, cameras, smartwatches, and other electronic gadgets. This is good news for the growth of the wireless charging business as more and more gadgets connect to the internet.   Competitive Environment   Through a range of corporate expansion tactics, the top companies in the wireless charging industry are boosting their market shares. These consist of the launch of new items, the extension of current product lines, and the conclusion of contracts. With a key emphasis on extending the practical range of power transmission, many prominent competitors in the wireless charging sector are investing a sizable amount of money in R&D.   The worldwide wireless charging industry is dominated by a diverse range of businesses, both established and emerging. The market seems to be quite competitive in terms of good quality, cost, and features.   Recently occurring events   On July 20, 2022, Pathronic AG, a semiconductor firm specialising in wireless charging technology, teamed with Luxshare-ICT, a China-based design manufacturer (ODM) business specialising in connection and interface technologies, to promote NFC wireless charging in computers and consumer products.   In January 2021, Xiaomi Inc., a business that creates and produces consumer devices, introduced its MI Air charge Technology.   The following well-known companies are highlighted in the worldwide wireless charging market:   Practical Power HK Ltd. WiTricity Company Murata Engineering Co. Ltd. Austin Instruments, Inc. Murata Engineering Co. Ltd. Murata Engineering Co. Ltd.
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