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Intel picks a favorite in the wireless charging race with A4WP membership

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In the competition to establish the one true wireless power standard, the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) is adding a big name partner today: Intel. The A4WP was formed last year by Samsung, Qualcomm, and wireless charging company Powermat, but now boasts over 50 members, including Broadcom, Sandisk and LG. That’s roughly the same as the Power Matters Alliance (PMA) and only a third the number of partners as the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), both of which back a different technology, inductive charging, under the names Qi and Power 2.0. Although the battle won’t likely be won or lost by a single partner, Intel’s decision is notable since it’s the first time the company has publicly backed any wireless charging standard.

Charge multiple devices simultaneously, and across short distances

As we wrote last month, magnetic resonant charging differs from the inductive charging backed by the WPC and PMA in that the device and charger are less tightly coupled, letting you charge multiple devices simultaneously, and across short distances. Intel, which has experimented with wireless charging in the past, thinks it can use the A4WP's technology to "help fuel an ecosystem of innovative solutions capable of simultaneously charging a range of devices, from low-power accessories to smartphones, tablets and Ultrabooks." Over the past year, the competing PMA has been on a bit of a roll, earning the endorsements of AT&T, Google, and Starbucks, but today's announcement goes to show that the race is still far from over.