On 28th July 2014, Integrated Device Technology (IDT) announced that its integrated circuits (ICs) were chosen to enable LG’s flagship G3 smartphone to charge wirelessly to the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) Qi v1.1 specification. The IDTP9025A chip is said to deliver a compact size and simplified application circuit into the smartphone.
The LG G3 launched on May 28th 2014 in South Korea and will eventually hit 170 countries in total throughout its global rollout. The model became available via US mobile operators in July.
LG posted record shipments of smartphones in Q2’14 at 14.5 million, reporting that the upswing was in part attributable to its G3 handset launch. Its previous G2 model was launched in September and we estimate around 3 million were shipped in 2013. We predict that the LG G3 will drive at least 5 million wireless power receiver shipments in 2014, generating more than $10 million in IC revenue for IDT. This could be lower however due to fierce competition that currently exists in the high-end smart phone market.
Despite LG’s global rollout, Qi wireless charging will be restricted to certain carriers. AT&T has announced that it will not be supporting Qi in the G3 handset in favour of instead enabling wireless charging compatible with the competing Power Matters Alliance (PMA) standard (as it has done with models in the Nokia Lumia range). It’s perhaps a little surprising that LG did not opt to include a chip which supports both Qi and PMA standards, of which IDT also has examples in its wireless charging portfolio.
Despite all existing certified Qi wireless chargers being restricted to closely coupled inductive charging technology, recent announcements from the WPC regarding its magnetic resonant extension means that once there is availability of a magnetic resonance Qi transmitter, as IDT’s chip is based on v1.1 of the Qi spec, the receivers will also are able to charge at up to 30mm from a resonant charger. Something integrators and infrastructure manufacturers will be monitoring closely.
More analysis from IHS: Wireless Power World Market Report