updated 04:15 pm EDT, Thu August 21, 2008
Intel cord-free charging
Chipmaker Intel has made an important step forward in its development of wireless charging technology, increasing the efficiency of the system, according to a Thursday report. The technology involves a magnetic field emitted by a desktop counter, which can then send 60 watts of power up to two or three feet, using 25 percent of the energy in the process.
Intel is demonstrating the technology at the Intel Developer Forum on Thursday, which is based on work performed by a Massachusetts Institute of Technology physicist Marin Sljacic, who called the technology WiTricity. Both MIT and Intel researchers are working on the technology, more officially called resonant induction, with MIT demonstrating efficiencies of 50 percent at up to over 10 feet. While some current consumer electronic devices such as toothbrushes already use similar principles, they require to be docked in a base station and make contact with power leads.
Intel researcher Joshua R. Smith is heading up the research project, which also has Intel mulling whether or not it should switch to supercapacitors instead of batteries due to their faster charging properties.
Intel executives believe the technology, which could involve the use of antennas packaged into notebooks for truly touch-less charging, would be easiest to incorporate into notebooks first, and then scale it down to smaller devices such as PDAs and cell phones over time.