Dialog releases 'at-distance' wireless charging IC

January 30, 2017 // By Peter Clarke
Dialog Semiconductor plc has announced the availability of evaluation kits for its DA4100 RF-transmit IC, which implements the WattUp wire-free, at-distance charging technology.

The chip sweeps up a number of discrete components and thereby simplifies implementation of WattUp wireless power transmitter systems, making them smaller and more cost-effective.

The chip integrates a Cortex M0+ processor core, RF transmitter and power management functionality into a single 7mm by 7mm IC. It also features on-chip DC-DC conversion and software.

The WattUp technology has been developed by Energous Corp. (San Jose, Calif.) and comes to market following the announcement of a strategic partnership between Energous and Dialog in November 2016 under which Dialog agreed to make a strategic investment of $10 million in Energous and become the exclusive component-level supplier of the WattUp technology.

WattUp is not an inductive or resonant wireless charging system but sends energy through the air using radio frequencies in similar way to a Wi-Fi router. As a result WattUp can deliver power to multiple devices, in any orientation. In the strategic relationship Energous provides the uncoupled wireless charging technology and Dialog provides power management expertise and Bluetooth Low Energy for out-of-band communications between the wireless transmitter and receiver.

The WattUp technology uses small form factor antennas on the motherboard PCB and is applicable to a range of battery-powered equipment including smartphones, tablets, Internet of Things devices, small form factor wearables, gaming and virtual and augmented reality devices.

"We partnered with Energous because we see the potential of their technology to revolutionize the wireless charging landscape, and we believe this new IC will demonstrate how our partnership can transform device charging," said Mark Tyndall, senior vice president of corporate development and strategy at Dialog Semiconductor, in a statement.

"This new IC will be the backbone of transmitters moving forward and our efforts to miniaturize and reduce costs will allow WattUp transmitters to be included in the box with many consumer devices," said Stephen Rizzone, CEO of Energous, in the same statement.

Evaluation kits of the DA4100 WattUp wireless power RF-transmit IC are