Dell is the first PC maker to join wireless power group

It joins 80 other members of the Alliance for Wireless Power

Dell has become the first major PC manufacturer to sign up with one of the wireless power standards alliances, indicating it's interested in developing desktops and laptops with the technology.

While there are three wireless charging industry alliances, Dell chose to join the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP), which recently joined forces with a second wireless power group, the Power Matters Alliance (PMA).

The third and largest industry consortium is the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), which developed the Qi standard, which enables tightly coupled inductive charging, as well as loosely coupled magnetic resonance charging.

The Qi specification is supported by 200 companies, among them a veritable who's who of electronics, such as LG Electronics, Sony, Nokia and Verizon Wireless.

The A4WP and the PMA agreed to adopt each other's specifications for different types wireless of charging. The A4WP's Rezence charging specification allows for a more loosely coupled technology to allow freedom of movement and multiple devices on a charging pad, while the PMA's specification offers more tightly coupled technology for greater charging efficiency.

Ryan Sanderson, an analyst at IHS Technology, said the combined global market for wireless power receivers and transmitters is expected to rise to 1.7 billion unit shipments in 2023, up from about 25 million last year.

The A4WP's membership has grown to more than 80 companies, including Broadcom, Gill Electronics, IDT, Intel, Qualcomm, and Samsung.

Dell CTO Glen Robson said in a statement that the development of magnetic resonance technology will improve customer experience when it comes to wireless charging and bring the capability into more homes and businesses during the next few years.

"We are excited to work with other industry leaders in the A4WP to deliver on the promise of easy, flexible wireless charging across an array of mobile devices including smartphones, tablets and laptops," he said.

Lucas Mearian covers consumer data storage, consumerization of IT, mobile device management, renewable energy, telematics/car tech and entertainment tech for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed. His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com.

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