Qualcomm Quick Charge for wireless chargers is coming, and Xiaomi’s Mi Wireless Charging Pad will support it
At the 2019 Mobile World Congress, Qualcomm representatives made numerous appearances on stage to promote their 5G partnerships with OEMs. Now, the company has held its own media event to make announcements related to its initiatives in AR, VR, IoT, automotive, 5G, and mobile. Their most relevant announcement for us is the news that Qualcomm will is extending its Quick Charge compliancy program for wireless power, enabling manufacturers of wireless charging pads to deliver fast and seamless wireless chargers to consumers.
Quick Charge is Qualcomm’s proprietary fast-charging technology. Most flagship smartphones with a Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset support at least one version of Quick Charge, depending on what the OEM is willing to spend on licensing. The fast charging technology has undergone several improvements of its specification, with the next version promising 32W fast wired charging. Given the resurgence of smartphones with Qi wireless charging support, it makes sense for Qualcomm to license their Quick Charge technology for wireless charging pads. We’ve seen smartphones like the Google Pixel 3 support 10W fast wireless charging while the Huawei Mate 20 and Razer Phone 2 support 15W fast wireless charging. The Xiaomi Mi 9 just launched with support for 20W non-Qi wireless charging, so there’s clearly still room for improvement in wireless charging speeds.
However, Qualcomm recognizes that it’ll be problematic for the industry if wireless charger manufacturers support Quick Charge in lieu of Qi compatibility. That’s why Qualcomm is expanding its compliance program to make sure that wireless charging pads that claim Quick Charge support not only meet Qualcomm’s standards but also meet the Wireless Power Consortium’s standards for Qi wireless charging. Wireless charging pads with Quick Charge support will work with existing Quick Charge adapters that you have for your smartphones. Qualcomm didn’t disclose what kind of wireless charging speeds we’ll be seeing with Quick Charge-enabled wireless charging pads, but we figure we’ll find out when some manufacturers deliver products that have passed Qualcomm’s compliance testing.
Xiaomi did announce that they’re the first company to deploy a wireless charging pad that’s compliant with Qualcomm Quick Charge and Qi wireless charging standards. Xiaomi says that they’re introducing Quick Charge technology specifically into their Mi Wireless Charging Pad, though they didn’t specify if they’re referring to the 20W wireless charging accessory that’s sold with the Xiaomi Mi 9. Qualcomm says they’ll enforce brand compliance so retailers won’t carry products that haven’t actually passed their compliance tests. The wireless charging industry could easily become a mess with a multitude of non-Qi standards, so we’re glad to hear that Qualcomm sees Qi interoperability as a necessity for Quick Charge compliance.