Toshiba has just unveiled a new integrated circuit or IC that will hopefully help make wireless charging a more viable technology. Aside from being compatible with past and future devices and accessories, the TC7763WBG wireless power receiver IC enables such devices to charge as quickly as wired methods.
Wireless charging is still fairly new and niche that it all seems to gimmicky, and at the moment, perhaps it is. However, there are other benefits to the technology, aside from liberating users from entanglement with cables. Doing away with a charging port reduces the exposed openings on a device and thereby reduces the opportunity for ingress of solid or liquid particles. This might be important in the near future as more and more devices, particularly smartphones, are vying for dust- and water-proof acclaim.
This Toshiba chip has two features that could help move the cause of wireless charging forward. For one, it adheres to the Qi wireless charging standard. This makes the chip compatible with many other devices and chargers that use the same standard. Granted, there are other competing and conflicting standards, but Qi is still the most popular and most widely used.
Perhaps more important is the TC7763WBG's other feature. While wireless charging has been known for convenience, it hasn't exactly been known for speed. At least until now. This circuit is able to achieve a maximum output power of 5 watts. This puts it on par with wired charging solutions, effectively reducing the time required for charging wirelessly. Achieving parity with cable chargers is a necessary obstacle to be overcome if wireless charging is to ever replace wired methods.
Of course, the arrival of the chip does not yet herald devices, chargers, or accessories that will take advantage of its features. The IC is, however, starting mass production today, so hopefully it will just be a matter of time.