One important feature to have in phones of today is fast charging. It ensures that all through the busy day or batteries remain topped up and ensure we are back in action in a few minutes. Moreover, there are different standards that different companies offer, and the speed of charging is usually dependent on chargers and cables. All of these could be a little bit confusing; therefore, we’ll be making some sense of it here.
If this is your first time getting to know about the fast charging technology, the whole idea is providing additional power to your battery through the USB port instead of the connector’s power of 2.5W. If you have been wondering why it takes several hours for your USB port to charge your device, this is the reason.
In the absence of this fast charging quality, the old USB-A poets could be very slow. By default, the USB-C ports could be faster (about 15W faster0, however, no guarantees exist. Furthermore, the fast charging devices of today falls within 18W and 65W power worth.
In addition, the charge time ranges between 30 minutes to one hour. On the market, you can find 120W very fast charging phones, though they are not the norm. In addition, the fast charging is not only reserved for the wired charging today. Wireless charging also involves getting in the game.
If you really wish to know how the technology functions as well as the well-known fast charging standards, please continue reading.
Ways of Fast Charging a Battery
Before we consider the standard of fast charging, let us consider some of the basics concerning the charging up of batteries. Just like other electronic devices, batteries can function with some voltage. Also, they can output and input a specific quantity of current. In addition, having extra of the two yields more power, which will lead to faster charging.
Moreover, batteries feature extremely strict limits of operation, most especially in terms of voltage. This has to be followed to help in safe charging. In addition, the fast charging of any battery isn’t just about throwing much current and voltage possible at the battery. Rather, the process of battery charging is divided in two major phases. These are constant voltage and constant current.
Furthermore, fast charging technology exploits the constant phase. It achieves this through the pumping of enough current in the battery before reaching the peak voltage. What this means is that the fast charging technology will be most effective when the battery is below 50%. However, its impact on the charge time is diminishing immediately the battery surpasses 80%.
Incidentally, the constant current charging is known as the least detrimental period to the long-term health of the battery. Higher constant voltage, coupled with heat is detrimental to the life of the battery.
Many manufacturers make use of some techniques in increasing their battery’s capabilities to improve the charging time of batteries. Take for instance, batteries that are more expensive could come with a greater C-rate as well as new materials that have the ability to fight against higher temperatures and higher currents.
In addition, batteries having multi cathode and anode tabs could reduce the internal resistance of a battery. It can also increase the current. Furthermore, the dual cell batteries usually divide this current across the two batteries that are in parallel. This is to ensure that the battery have a faster charging appearance.
Optimizing the charge times of a battery also deals with the current and voltage monitoring. It also involves the optimization of algorithms. Coupled with temperature, you can feed this data back to the smart chargers of optimizing the power delivery onto a device like the Smartphone. Now, the power negotiation is the place where the fast charging standards are relevant.
Overview of the Fast Charging Standards
Now, we understand the way fast charging functions, now it is time to consider the different standards that you can find in smartphones, as well as other gadgets.
USB Power Delivery
This is the first charging specification, which the USB-IF published in 2012. The USB power delivery since 2020 has now become the most commonly supported of all charging standards when it comes to the Smartphone industry. Although, so many phones sports faster standards, most of today’s phones supports USB power delivery over the USB-C port.
Also, like the fast charging technology standards, the USB power delivery works with a data protocol for communication between the phone and the charger. This helps in negotiating the highest power delivery that is tolerable for the handset and its charger. In addition, the USB power delivery usually scales in power ranging between 0.5W and 100W.
Usually smartphones utilize about 18 to 25W of charging power with the USB PD. Also, the standards allow bi-directional power. This enables the phone to be able to charge some other peripherals. In addition, smartphones making use of USB PD includes Google Pixel5 AND Apple iPhone 12.
In addition, the latest USB power delivery standard also involves the programmable power supply (USB PD PPS), which is optional. Also, this helps in introducing additional flexible voltage control, which makes it more useful for quick fast charging. An example of a fast charging phone that makes use of the USB PD PPS is the Samsung Galaxy Series (S21).
Qualcomm’s Quick Charge
This might not be as prominent in the charging space as it was some years back. This is due to the growth in the USB PD and proprietary standards. However, it is currently in the 5th generation and it is still being supported in different smartphones.
Also, the most recent of the Quick Charge 5 is compatible with the initial revisions of the Quick Charge and the USB PD. In addition, it is compatible with the specification of the USD PD, and can provide a power of about 100W to gadgets that are more demanding. This power is much more than initial revisions that typically offers about 27W and 18W of power to gadgets that are compatible.
Furthermore, with an incremental voltage of operation that can reach 20V, a current of 3A – 5A, the Quick Charge 5 resembles the USB PD PPS’ fast charging abilities. In addition, Qualcomm usually augments the standard with the identification capabilities of the charger coupled with the thermal, current, and voltage protection protocols. In the words of Qualcomm, it is designed to be safer compared to the standard.
Other well-known proprietary standards
Over these years, many other companies created t5heur own quick-charging standards. Also, most of these were developed when the USB-A ports were well-known. Although, some of them are now less or more obsolete due to the USB PD proliferation and the move to the USB-C. Moreover, some still stick around as a result of great support by the legacy devices or due to the fact that they are faster compared to what’s on offer with standards that are more universal.
The protocol of the Apple 2.4A helps in augmenting the standard USB-A ports having a current of 2.4A instead of the 0.5A capabilities. IPhones that are older, as well as the choosing of much older gadgets, use these capabilities in charging up from the older ports.
The Adaptive Fast Charge of Samsung is a similar standard that is designed to serve the older smartphones of Samsung Galaxy. Also, it is supported in generation models that are newer. This offers a power of about 15W, which makes it slower compared to the modern fast charging technology.
Other older and less popular standards like Pump Express of MediaTek and the Turbo Charge of Motorola have depreciated. You can still find extremely quick charging standards across the phone industry, especially from the Chinese manufacturers. These include SuperVooc of Oppo, SuperCharge of Huawei, Warp Charge of OnePlus and the 120 watts charging technology of Xiaomi. In addition, these technologies can range between 40W to 120W, surpassing the implementations that is seen with the USB Power and Quick Charge Delivery Standards.
Regarding good news, the proprietary chargers from Xiaomi and OnePlus are becoming to support USB PD coupled with their personal protocols. This makes sure that these power brinks fast charge different devices and reduces the requirements for many adapters.
What is Wireless Fast Charging?
Wireless charging features similar hurdles and principles as the wired fast charging. Still, devices need a quick chargeable battery as well as a method that aids the communication of information from a gadget to its charger. Then, there’s an additional complication of transferring large amounts of power efficiently over air.
Furthermore, Qi, which is pronounced as chee, is a widely adopted standard for the wireless charging space. Similar to the USB PD, this standard has been able to pass through several revisions. This improved the communication use and power capabilities of the standard. Also, Qi integrates reverse wireless charging, this allows phone to slow charge the other wireless devices and gadgets.
The version 1.0 of Qi which was released back in 2010, offered a power of just 5W. Over a few years, this has now expanded to power of 15W, 30W, up till 65W for the larger devices. Moreover, the 15W seems to be known as the upper limit for the Smartphone world. O many devices even decide to opt for configurations that are slower like 7.5W and 10W configurations. Therefore, compared to wired charging, Qi is slower.
Other Wireless Fast Charging Technologies
Also, Apple released its wireless fast charging technology in 2020 with MagSafe. Furthermore, MagSafe charges at a power of 15W. This makes it slower than the 20W of the wired power of iPhone 12, which the USB Power Delivery provides.
Moreover, there is an increasing market for a faster wireless charging standard, most especially among the Chinese brands. In addition, Oppo has a 65W wireless SuperVooc. Also, Huawei has the 40W technology and OnePlus has 50W Warp Charge, just to explain a few. Also, at least 100W wireless charging is touted as well. However, we are not yet able to see any technology appear in the commercial products.
The main key to achieving fast wireless charging is using more coils for the transfer of current over air. Moreover, this comes with a side effect, which costs more to be able to implement. This usually takes extra space, and then increases the charging temperatures.
Although fast and wireless charging is very possible, it isn’t the best way to charge smartphones as well as other gadgets.
What is the Future of the Fast Charging Technology?
We all know that technology is evolving rapidly. Also, you can have little faith in the fact that the fast charging technology will become the universal standard very soon. Furthermore, there is a high chance that fast charging will replace the average chargers slowly within a few years.
Fortunately, as a result of a huge growth in cords, adapters, charge controllers, and integrated circuitry, phones can potentially recharge within a few minutes rather than several hours. Also, of recent, the early model fast chargers gained wide recognition due to their promises to be able to increase the portability of your device, and charge it at a faster rate.
As the fast charging technology becomes very accessible and evolves, then fast charging will only keep growing. With manufacturing, it only improves further. The present prototypes have incredible speeds. This can be seen in the claim of Xiaomi that it has a HyperCharge technology that has the ability to charge a battery of 4000mAh within eight minutes. However, as these new standards are completely developed and made available in the market, we’ll surely learn about them.
RayMing PCB and the Fast Charging Technology
Rayming is one of the top manufacturers of fast charger PCB circuit boards. This shows that our company is top-notch and is ready to work with recent developments and trends. The fast charging technology is evolving and becoming very accessible and only time will tell if it will take over or not. But the fact is that some of our mobile phones already fast charging technology is already in use today.