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Qi Intros Wireless Charging Station Standard

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The Wireless Power Consortium launched its Qi 1.0 charging station standard Thursday and reported the first products certified with Qi.

Qi is aimed at ensuring interoperability among Qi devices using any Qi-certified charging station. The Consortium has predicted that interoperability can help the wireless battery charging market scale up over a period of years from 100,000 units to 100,000,000 units annually.

The consortium said Qi can empower mobile phone manufacturers to integrate wireless power receivers and the semiconductor industry to incorporate the functionality into their chipsets. The Consortium also expects infrastructure providers will build chargers in homes, offices, and automobiles.

"As an interoperable standard, Qi will have profound impact on the user experience of wireless power," said Patrick Heyer, manager of Texas Instruments' charge management product line, in a statement. "This will enable the consumers to conveniently charge or power their electronic devices wherever they go, without having to worry about various power cords and adaptors."

The consortium has more than 55 members representing a broad swath of mobile phone, consumer electronics, battery, semiconductor, and component industries. Now that the charging station's standard has been developed, the organization is working on a wireless power standard for medium power devices like netbooks, laptops, tablet computers, and power tools.

"Qi can now be integrated into products," said Menno Treffers, chairman of the consortium. "It took us only 18 months to develop the Qi standard, and less than one month to see the first products certified."

The new standard was hailed by a representative of Nokia, the world's largest provider of mobile phones. Calling the new low power standard a "significant milestone," Nokia's director of mobile solutions research and development Petri Vuori said: "For full user benefit, a standard ensuring cross-compatibility between different manufacturers' products is required."