NFC Forum Approves Wireless Charging Specification for Up to 1W of Power Using Existing NFC Antennas

Using a single antenna for both NFC and charging, devices adhering to the new standard will be able to draw down up to 1W of power.

Gareth Halfacree
2 months agoInternet of Things
A newly-approved specification will allow NFC devices to provide up to 1W of wireless power. (📷: Mybloodtypeiscoffee)

The Near-Field Communication (NFC) Forum has announced approval and adoption of a specification for wireless charging of consumer and Internet of Things (IoT) devices using a smartphone — and without requiring a separate antenna.

Wireless power is undeniably useful, but its usefulness for compact IoT designs is limited by its typically needing a dedicated and relatively bulky antenna dedicated to the function. The Wireless Charging Specification, approved by the NFC Forum this week, is different: It allows devices to use a single antenna for both communications and charging.

“The NFC Forum’s Wireless Charging Technical Specification allows for wireless charging of small battery-powered devices like those found in many of the estimated 36 billion IoT devices in use today," explains Koichi Tagawa, chair of the NFC Forum. "NFC wireless charging is truly transformative because it changes the way we design and interact with small, battery-powered devices as the elimination of plugs and cords enables the creation of smaller, hermetically-sealed devices."

Under the standard, devices will be able to pull down power at a rate of up to one watt from compatible chargers — which will range from dedicated chargers plugged into the wall and built into battery banks to a simple smartphone, which can charge and power a device as it communicates over NFC. Power can be provided statically, as with existing NFC-powered devices, or in a negotiated mode at rates from 240mW to 1W.

The NFC Forum has published the specification to its website, but as with its other specifications it is accessible only to member organisations and paying customers.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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