Broadcom’s New SoC Attempts to Move Wireless Charging Away from the Charging Pad

December 6, 2013 - Written By Eric Abent

We’re big fans of wireless charging around these parts, and if you count yourself among the technophiles of the world, chances are you are too. The ability to drop a device on a charging pad instead of plugging it into the wall can be a big benefit, especially when you’ve got multiple devices that need to be charged and only so many outlets. Broadcom is looking to improve a little on the wireless charging concept with its latest system-on-a-chip, the BCM20736.

The main advantage of this SoC is that it uses the Alliance for Wireless Power standard. Instead of requiring a charging pad, A4WP creates a field of power, meaning that you merely need your devices in one area before they begin charging. This means you can charge more devices than would normally fit on a regular charging pad, so those of you who have more tablets and phones than you know what to do would certainly have a use for the A4WP standard.

Unfortunately, we won’t be seeing the BCM20736 in smartphones. Broadcom has designed the SoC for use in things like wearables. With that said, it’s possible that we’ll see it show up in smart watches and pedometers, as there’s certainly plenty of reasons for manufacturers to consider it. In addition to taking advantage of the A4WP standard, the BCM20736 also comes equipped with an ARM Cortex M3 processor and Bluetooth. It’s also be designed to use less power, which hopefully means you’ll need to charge your devices less frequently.

Even though the BCM20736 won’t be featured in any smartphones, it does have some exciting implications. With companies like Broadcom adopting the A4WP standard, we could see more widespread use in the future. If more companies end up going with the A4WP standard, it may not be long before we’ve got smartphones you can charge just by placing it on the table near your charging coil. It would certainly change wireless charging in a big way, and more advancements in that field are definitely something to get excited about. For now, though, we’re happy to settle for the BCM20736 in things like our smart watches and sensors.