Electronic Design

Charging Scheme Lets Portables Climb Out Of The Cradle

Wireless battery charging for portables is no longer wishful thinking. In lieu of the standard cradle charger, MobileWise's wire-free electric power technology uses a contact-studded Wire-Free-Electricity Base to deliver power to external mobile devices that have contacts embedded in their case (see the figure).

The base, which resembles a small desk blotter, and the mobile devices both contain MobileWise ICs that control charging. The Palo Alto, Calif., company demonstrated the first application of this technology at the recent Power2002 conference in Los Angeles.

Unlike existing chargers, which require users to plug in their power-hungry mobile devices, the wire-free approach lets users randomly place devices on top of the base. A grid of contacts on the base ensures electrical contact with contacts on the portable device, regardless of how the device is positioned. MobileWise's control chips configure the selected contacts for the correct polarity. And, the base can charge multiple devices simultaneously.

This technology could be extended to create a universal device able to charge notebooks, PDAs, and cell phones with different charging requirements and various form factors. For more information, call (650) 961-4800 or see www.mobilewise.com.

TAGS: Mobile
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