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New technology may speed up phone charging by next year

Qnovo is developing software and hardware which monitors and adjusts the flow of current while charging smart phones. This could significantly decrease charging times and increase lifespan of batteries.


Smart phones do a lot of things really well, but one of the downsides to the big screen and powerful processors they have, is a rather limited battery life. Instead of the week long battery life we could expect ten years ago, mobile phones today run out of juice on a daily basis, and if you forget to plug yours in, you’re in trouble. Qnovo, a company based out of Newark, California, is looking to find a solution to that problem, by drastically increasing the charging speed for batteries. That way, even if your phone is dying, a quick 15 minute charge should have you set for several hours.

Qnovo is working on what they call an intelligent charging process. The company states: “Rather than charging with a simple current, Qnovo injects a series of charge ‘packets’, followed by measurements to determine the battery’s state-of-health.” CEO of Qnovo, Nadim Maluf, told Forbes that they are employing a technology which constantly monitors and adjusts the flow of current during a charge so that the charging time is decreased, while at the same time increasing the lifespan of the battery. The battery is apparently monitored several hundred times every second.


Qnovo’s charging tech could give you a significant reduction in charging time.

“Our method comes from what the automotive and aircraft engine industries have done,” explains Maluf, “which is to measure the performance of their products in real time and created closed loop systems to really monitor what’s going on and improve efficiency.” Qnovo offers both a software based and hardware based charging solution. The software based method, called QNS, can be written into existing operating systems, and would thus be rather easy to implement. It is, understandably, not as efficient as the hardware version, QN200.

“What our chipset does is to sit between the charger and the battery,” explains Robert Nalesnik, vice president of marketing at Qnovo. “We’re the traffic cop that manages the current flow into the battery. So we don’t replace anything in the phone. The software solution updates the battery once a second but in the hardware solution we’re updating the battery once every millisecond.”

Maluf has stated that he hopes to see the new technology in smart phones as early as next year. Speaking with Forbes, Nalesnik also mentioned that the company is in talks with several smart phone manufacturers about embedding the software, or perhaps even the charging chipset, into new smart phones and that we should be expecting fast charging “to be in many products released in 2015.”

Source: Phys.org

David F.
A grad student in experimental physics, David is fascinated by science, space and technology. When not buried in lecture books, he enjoys movies, gaming and mountainbiking

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