TowerJazz and MAPS launch first resonant wireless power transfer chip for mobile devices

Date
01/20/2014

Categories:
Battery Charging & Management, Embedded Systems, Power ICs, Power Management, RF Power, Wireless

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TowerJazz, a specialty foundry leader, and MAPS, a provider of mobile, lighting and automotive ICs, announced collaboration on the launch of what is believed to be the first resonant wireless power transfer (WPT) receiver Chip(Rx). Intended for mobile products, the device integrates high efficiency full active rectifier (FAR) technology and enables wireless charging at a distance which is cutting-edge in the market. Resonance wireless power transfer offers greater distances between coils versus inductive charging, which requires tight coupling between transmitter and receiver. Wireless charging is a breakthrough in the mobile communications and computing devices infrastructure arena. MAPS expects mass production to begin in Q2 2014, targeting the giant mobile, portable and computing market in Korea as well as worldwide.

Korea’s mobile market is one of the strongest in the world. MAPS, as a local fabless company, has a high potential to be dominant in the wireless charging market as the trend moves from inductive to resonant. A recent report from Pike Research estimates that worldwide revenues from wireless power devices will exceed $15 billion by 2020, and that systems based on highly resonant wireless power transfer will account for more than 80% of the total market.

MAPS’ exclusive technology, combined with TowerJazz’s 0.18um Bipolar-CMOS-DMOS (BCD) process, enabled the first successful resonant wireless power transfer (WPT) product in the market. Although inductive WPT was already introduced by others, the resonant type that MAPS has developed using TowerJazz’s BCD process is a first of its kind and offers wireless power charging at greater distances than ever before.

TowerJazz’s 0.18um BCD process combines high-density digital CMOS, embedded non-volatile memory, and area-efficient high voltage devices with a sophisticated design kit that allows the optimization of performance and die size and enables the fast introduction of innovative and cost-effective products. The process design kit (PDK) includes accurate analog models with Monte Carlo statistical capability showing dispersion of products so customers can tune and optimize their designs, enabling higher performance and smaller size, in the shortest time frame. Moreover, TowerJazz’s diverse process options such as metal combination, high value resistors and stacked high-density MIM capacitors further allow customers to optimize their products and offer the required performance in the minimum die size.

“TowerJazz’s support, based on our strategic partnership, contributed to the success of our technology development. This offering is significant for both MAPS and TowerJazz as it is the leading product in the market that can possibly bring big production volume in the near future,” said Shin Hyunick, Chief Executive Officer of MAPS.

“We are excited that MAPS was successful using our 0.18um BCD process to launch, in a very short time frame, its resonant wireless power transfer as the first in the market. We will continually work closely with MAPS to support mass production of the product. Moreover, as MAPS has diverse roadmaps in addition to mobile products, we expect our capabilities can support upcoming projects in other areas as well and bring about a win-win result,” said Michael Song, Vice President of Sales and President of TowerJazz Korea.

Availability
MAPS is currently sampling the product to various smartphone and battery manufacturers and is working on system co-development. The current charging efficiency of the receiver IC (Rx) is over 80%.

TowerJazz

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