In the last four years alone, smartphones have evolved by a fantastic amount. Processors have reduced in size and increased in cores, efficiency and power. Graphics hardware is not significantly more powerful and screens are much sharper and larger. Battery capacities have also increased in line with our increase in screen power. Although modern devices typically have better standby time (despite carrying more radios covering far more frequencies), unfortunately for many smartphones the screen on time is not so different. We are seeing more innovative products being developed with a bias towards battery life, such as MediaTek’s Helio X20 Tri-Cluster, ten core processor, which is designed with maximising processor efficiency regardless of what the System-on-Chip is going.
As such, battery life is being improved by a combination of more efficient hardware combined with larger batteries, but this can result in the problem of a smartphone having great battery life but needing six hours to recharge. We have seen several quick charge technologies introduced, designed to reduce the time it takes to charge your smartphone battery. Qualcomm QuickCharge, released in several standards now, is one of the main technologies seen in consumer devices along with Samsung’s rapid charging technology. Now MediaTek have showcased their own rapid recharging solution, called Pump Express and Pump Express Plus. Pump Express is capable of handling 10 watts over 5v whereas Pump Express Plus chargers are able to output up to 24 watts over 12V. MediaTek’s literature explains that the technology is able to put a smartphone battery from 0% to 75% charge in half an hour.
Almost all charger solutions have multiple power delivery stages. When the battery is discharged, they supply their maximum wattage, which for many typical MicroUSB adapters is somewhere between 5W to 10W (this representing a 1A 5V USB charger and a 2A, 5V charger). However, as the battery gets progressively fuller, so the smartphone and charger will in combination reduce the current supplied. It will also reduce the current if the battery temperature gets too high. Fast charging technologies are able to deliver a higher wattage of charge typically by increasing the voltage applied, and sometimes the currently. The Pump Express Plus delivers 2A of current across 12V for 24W of charge, so it’s more than twice as quick as a typical high-powered MicroUSB charger adapter. MediaTek’s solution doesn’t require certification at the Pump Express point, only for Pump Express Plus chargers. There’s no need to buy additional cables, simply invest in a compatible charger and smartphone and you are good to go.