Wireless charging may be “limited” by 50W. Will it affect the experience of electronic products?

50W will become a word that cannot be bypassed for wireless charging, because just three days ago, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology publicly solicited opinions on the "Interim Provisions on Radio Management of Wireless Charging (Power Transmission) Equipment (Draft for Comment)" and mentioned wireless charging.

In the document, a sentence touches everyone's nerves: " Mobile and portable wireless charging devices…the rated transmission power does not exceed 50W ."

Manufacturers that have put into production of high-power wireless charging products may not sleep after reading the call for proposals.

In addition to 50W, what other requirements?

The detailed rules of the draft for comments are relatively clear, involving multiple dimensions such as power, frequency band, radiation value, and protected area.

The draft for comments defines the scope of application, "the regulations apply to wireless charging devices for mobile, portable, and electric vehicles (including motorcycles). " That is to say, the target of the specification is not limited to mobile phones .

Second, the draft opinion separately stipulates the frequency and power of wireless charging.

At the same time, the draft opinion also limits the radiation value, and there are detailed regulations on the magnetic field intensity emission limit, the stray radiation emission limit, and the reception blocking limit.

Finally, some radio astronomy observatories have distance protection, ranging from 1 to 5 kilometers.

It may be that taking into account the actual situation, the draft for comments also gives a grace period. If the draft is "turned to the right", it will be implemented from January 1, 2022. Wireless charging devices that have been put into use and are compliant before can be used in principle. Use until scrapped .

Why restrict?

After several years of promotion of wireless charging technology, it has been commercially available on a large scale. It stands to reason that there should be no major safety problems. At this time, the draft regulations for solicitation of comments were launched, which was beyond market expectations.

▲ Wireless charging technology is basically mature, and users are also growing explosively

However, wireless charging technology does bring some troubles that ordinary consumers can't think of.

As large as mobile phone signal base stations, as small as mobile phones, wireless chargers, microwave devices, etc., they are essentially radio transmitting devices, which send radio waves to the surroundings when they work.

Radio waves have two important characteristics. One is that frequency band resources are limited, and the other is that it is prone to interference when the frequency bands are close. This means that the radio frequency band is a scarce resource, and some frequency bands must "gave way" to other frequency bands, and some devices "bow their heads" to others.

▲ Behind PHS and some 2G retirements is the dispute over radio bands

The draft for comments stated at the beginning the reason for the regulation, "to avoid harmful interference to all kinds of legally developed radio services, and to maintain the order of air waves."

What can wireless charging interfere with?

We are surrounded by a large number of invisible and intangible radio waves. These radio waves inevitably interfere with each other and have reached a level of disarray.

The emergence of wireless charging technology has exacerbated this complex situation. When charging a mobile phone, the transmitting coil of the wireless charging board is based on a certain frequency of alternating current, and a certain current is generated in the receiving coil of the mobile phone through electromagnetic induction, thereby transferring electric energy from the transmitting end. To the receiving end, supply power to the mobile phone. An electromagnetic field is formed during charging, which may interfere with other radio waves .

With the popularization of wireless charging technology, the continuous increase in power, and the explosive growth of the number of devices, the challenges brought by are far greater than fixed devices such as induction cookers.

For example, a wireless power bank can follow the user on the land, and it can also be taken by the user on an airplane to fly into the sky. The situation is very complicated. In the future, almost everyone will use a portable wireless charging device. If the power of the device is not measured Limitation, radio wave interference will be a very troublesome problem.

What can wireless charging interfere with? Let me talk about big projects first.

After the completion of China's Sky Eye, the local government hopes to attract tourists through the Sky Eye and develop tourism. However, electrical equipment that generates electromagnetic radiation carried by tourists may affect telescope observations . Therefore, corresponding regulations have been issued to prohibit unauthorized carrying of mobile phones and digital cameras within 5 kilometers. , Tablet computers, walkie-talkies, drones and other radio transmitting devices or electronic products that generate electromagnetic radiation, the maximum penalty is 200,000 yuan.

▲ China Sky Eye. Picture from: Xinhuanet

It is rumored that the wireless power bank that Apple is developing is theoretically one of the products that prohibit access to the Sky Eye.

Let's talk about cases related to our lives.

The interference of messy radio waves is beyond imagination. For example , WiFi, Bluetooth, mobile phone signals, etc., which we use almost every day, will be interfered by radio waves . Some Bluetooth mice are always used intermittently when placed in a certain place. If it is better to change to another place, it may be interference.

▲ The noisy 2.4Ghz frequency band of Beijing Tiantongyuan. Picture from: Luv Letter (Knowledge)

The electromagnetic waves generated by wireless charging may also affect the military radio wave frequency band . The reason for limiting the power and frequency band should also be considered.

What is the impact on manufacturers and consumers?

Knowing that the wireless charging power may be "locked up" at 50W, many people exclaimed "Return me 100W wireless fast charging".

▲ 40W wireless charging technology launched by OPPO

At present, netizens are roughly divided into three factions: Approvalists, Oppositionists, and Indifferents.

The main reason for the approving party is that 50W wireless charging is enough, and if you increase the power, radio wave interference will make everyone pay the bill. The opposition believes that this is a stifle to technological progress, and they can find a better solution. Pie is not interested in this matter.

Judging from the current mobile phone charging market, 50W is not a low power level, and the wired charging power of many mobile phones is only between 5-35W. Even for medium-sized mobile devices like MacBook, the wired charging power is only 61W. With higher power, wired charging will be used for large fixed electronic devices, so for most users, it will not have much impact for the time being.

▲ 50W wireless charging is very close to 61W wired

At the same time, in order to attract consumers’ attention, many high-power wireless charging devices still have many problems such as poor heat dissipation, obvious noise, sudden power reduction, and incompatibility . They are far from optimized, and many devices can only reach the peak power for a period of time. After that, the power was quickly reduced, and the strange phenomenon appeared that "the exhausted 50W wireless charging is not as good as the stable 20W wireless charging".

For manufacturers, it should be more uncomfortable.

The research and development cycle of electronic equipment is mostly 1-2 years. Maybe many devices with wireless charging power exceeding 50W have entered the final stage of research and development. Now they suddenly announce the draft for comments. Manufacturers need to redesign corresponding parts, disrupting the development rhythm . Fortunately, the opinion draft is given a one-year buffer time, which should not cause major problems.

▲ The 80W wireless second charger released by Xiaomi, I don’t know the final fate. Picture from: Sina Digital

Objectively speaking, if the wireless charging regulations are officially implemented, it will also prompt manufacturers to calm down, stop competing for power values ​​for marketing gimmicks, and put R&D efforts on the stability of wireless charging devices. If they can produce less heat, less noise, The power can be maintained at 50W, compatible with different brands of wireless charging devices, maybe it is much better than the exhausted 100W wireless charging.

Some questions

After carefully reading the draft for comments, many people have some questions, such as whether mobile and portable wireless charging devices only refer to wireless charging treasures, the package does not include mobile phones and fixed wireless charging pads, how the 50W line is drawn, How to prevent users from unlocking wireless charging power privately and so on.

▲ What can be called mobile and portable wireless charging devices?

A Zhihu user who has been involved in rule-making work said this:

The national standard-setting organization does not need to tell consumers why, because the national standard is issued to enterprises, and the enterprises clearly know what these indicators mean.

As a company, the first thing to think about is to make money, but managers know that some bottom lines cannot be opened up, otherwise it will cause harm to the industry and consumers, but companies are not willing to tell you about these injuries.

As a result, some people think that management is suppressing technological progress…

Therefore, for the corresponding regulations, ordinary consumers only need to wait for them to change. The current regulations are in the stage of soliciting opinions. If there are really unreasonable factors, relevant companies will naturally give feedback.

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