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Samsung, Qualcomm join forces on wireless charging

The two companies want to lower the cost of implementing the techology

Samsung Electronics and Qualcomm have joined forces and formed the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) which aims to accelerate the development of wireless charging, the companies said Monday.

The Alliance will work on a new wireless power transfer technology for the charging of devices in cars, on tabletops and multiple devices simultaneously at a lower cost than current products, Samsung and Qualcomm said in a joint statement.

The A4WP specification will support so-called spatial freedom, which holds the potential to extend wireless power applications beyond sleeves and mats on a desktop to embedded charging surfaces in furniture, machines and vehicles, according to the Alliance website.

This is not a new area for either company. Qualcomm has developed WiPower, which is "ideally suited for a forum like the A4WP," the company said.

The Alliance for Wireless Power isn't the only organization to address wireless charging. The Wireless Power Consortium published the Qi low power specification in August 2009, and the first product was certified in September the same year.

Products that offer wireless charging are slowly becoming more commonplace. For example, accessories for the Samsung Galaxy S III will include a wireless charging kit, the company said at a launch event last week.

Shipments of wireless power enabled devices are expected to surpass 100 million by 2015, according to market research company IMS Research.

Besides Samsung and Qualcomm, Ever Win Industries, Gill Industries, Peiker Acustic, Powermat Technologies, and SK Telecom are also members, and more are welcome to join, according to the two companies.

An event to launch the Alliance is planned on Tuesday at the CTIA Wireless 2012 trade show in New Orleans.

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