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TransferJet: Accelerating Wireless Charging

At the recent Consumer Electronics Show {complink 5648|Toshiba Corp.} announced the industry's first microUSB Adaptor Module for the TransferJet standard. Production will begin in March and will be targeted for smartphones, tablets, and the PC peripheral market.

The astounding thing about TransferJet is that it can transfer a one-minute HD movie in about three seconds, and it takes about two minutes to transfer a full DVD-sized movie. At CES there were a few demos showcasing how easy TransferJet is to use among tablets, smartphones, cameras, and notebooks. Basically, you simply pick the data you want to transfer, tap the two devices together (after each device gives permission), and voila , Done. It really does take just a few moments before you're able to watch the video on a completely new device.

The rate of transfer is about 375Mbit/s, which is about 8 times faster than WiFi, and about 1,000 times better than NFC. For security and functional reasons, the data transfer only works up to 5 centimeters before the devices are disconnected. The farther the devices are from one another, the slower the transfer speed.

{complink 7526|Semico Research Corp.} recently released an NFC report and had this to say about TransferJet:

    TransferJet is a close proximity wireless technology with the ability to transfer large files between two devices. It has a very high data rate; it takes less than 2 seconds to transfer 100MB, and less than 2 minutes to transfer a DVD. TransferJet uses inductive coupling, similar to NFC, to make the connection.

    The same chip is used in both the sending and the receiving devices. Unlike NFC, TransferJet does not incorporate a Secure Element chip, so it is not going to be used for payment applications. The technology is being targeted at transferring and streaming media files between cell phones and TVs, cameras and printers, or computer to computer.

    Toshiba and Sony are currently manufacturing TransferJet chips. Sony and Epson have released a few products with TransferJet, but it is a new technology that has yet to gain much traction. However, the TransferJet Consortium has demonstrated prototypes that integrate TransferJet, wireless charging and NFC in one device.

And of course, Toshiba did indicate that its roadmap does include plans for integrating NFC and TransferJet into its Free-Positioning Wireless Charger, which it also demonstrated at CES.

Previously, wireless chargers could only charge one device per coil, and the position of your smartphone had to be exact. Toshiba is now offering a chipset with a 2-coil transmitter that enables two smartphones to charge at once in any position. This means you and your friend can just toss your phones onto the table at work, and they'll automatically start charging.

We're finally at the point where we can start abandoning all those wires we have lying around our offices and living rooms. I don't know about you, but I have two boxes full of “just in case” wires sitting in a corner that I can't wait to ditch.

20 comments on “TransferJet: Accelerating Wireless Charging

  1. mfbertozzi
    January 22, 2013

    Great editorial Michell ! It is a key topic – in my opinion – for definitely promoting the wireless era; right now, it is not so easy to hear about, maybe it takes time for the final adoption, but a wireless high transfert bit rate, for instance, is exactly what we need according to current trend for allowing a good step toward a “contactless digital life”.

  2. _hm
    January 22, 2013

    5 cms looks very small distance. How Toshiba arrived at 5cm distance? It may be difficult to hold two devices (one yours and one your friends) together at <5cm distance for two or more minutes. Also, some people may not be comfortable with their device to be so close.

     

  3. prabhakar_deosthali
    January 23, 2013

    If I read it correctly, 5 cms is the distance at which the transfer rate is maximum. The rate becomes slower as the distance increases.

    The wireless charging of cellphones is a great news.  Wireless transfer of power is something I was always excited about. Hope such concepts are extended further so that may be someday we won't have to connect our Pcs or laptops to the mains by a thic wire.

  4. bolaji ojo
    January 23, 2013

    Michell, Has anyone done any major research into the health implications of wireless charging? I am curious because of the technology and the potential impact on us.

  5. Michell Prunty
    January 23, 2013

    @ Bolaji

    – Yes, the Wireless Power Consortium I believe has done some digging into health implications, and when I asked last year they very confidently said there was no real concern, because actual contact is required between the device and the charging pads.  They aren't really sending radiation or anything floating around in space, though the technology brings that idea to mind (for me anyway).

  6. Michell Prunty
    January 23, 2013

    @ prabhakar_deosthali

    Thats right – 5 cms is where Toshiba decided to do a cut off, because the farther the devices are from each other, the slower the transfer rate.  TransferJet itself will actually transfer up to 10 cms, so Toshiba is doing quality control. 

    @ _hm

    Well, if you don't want to hold your devices together for the 2 minutes it takes to transfer a whole DVD movie, then you could always set them on a table together and walk away 🙂

    I'm not sure why anyone wouldn't be comfortable with their devices touching, unless your friend has cheeto hands.  In that case, I feel your pain. 

  7. bolaji ojo
    January 23, 2013

    Michell, I don't know why I was concerned about radiation or any other health issues related to wireless charging. It's not like we don't have enough floating through the air. I am sitting at my desk with a mobile phone, cordless office phone, two wireless routers, a wireless printer and a wireless PC.  🙂

  8. Michell Prunty
    January 23, 2013

    @ Bolaji

     

    Right?  At CES RFaxis showed me all the different signals running on the 2.6Ghz spectrum, and there were dozens in our small room.  We're completely surrounded.  With all the rumors about cell phones causing cancer I think safety is one of the first thoughts in people's head when they hear about Wireless Charging

  9. Mr. Roques
    January 23, 2013

    Well, I'm not that afraid of wireless charging because the range is very short and normally, away from your head. 

    I'm more worried about cellphones near my head. Which frequencies are more dangerous?

  10. _hm
    January 23, 2013

    Wireless charging is quite inefficient and may not be consider green tech. I suggest wireless charger must have option to plug-in and charge, which is more efficient.

  11. Houngbo_Hospice
    January 24, 2013

    @_hm,

    “Wireless charging is quite inefficient and may not be consider green tech.”

    It is true that we are far from “cutting the power cable”. But we can't deny that there have been some (good) improvements in wireless charging research and transfertJet is just one step closer to implementing wireless charging functionality on mobile devices.

  12. Houngbo_Hospice
    January 24, 2013

    @Mr. Roques,

    “I'm more worried about cellphones near my head. Which frequencies are more dangerous?”

    There is no serious proof to support that assumption. We don't reaally know whether cellphone radiations are harmful or not. But I do agree that we should be aware that a long exposure to radio frequencies over time can have a harmful effect.

  13. mfbertozzi
    January 24, 2013

    @H_H: not so easy a proper answer; in order to share more our opinion about, I can report a recent prediction from Deloitte that focuses on the wireless spectrum crunch…

  14. bolaji ojo
    January 24, 2013

    Remember asbestos? People weren't aware it was really dangerous until years later. However, constant monitoring of people's health might have given us earlier the first hints about the dangers involved.

    This is happening today with wireless devices. The industry has trade bodies that have conducted research into this and said it is not harmful but more research is being done by academic bodies and others. Stay alert but so far so good.

  15. _hm
    January 24, 2013

    Is it possible to get the efficiency of this wireless charger? Also, health hazard may be hidden and some prominent third party must get it certified.

     

  16. Michell Prunty
    January 25, 2013

    Hi all,

    Regarding efficiency, this system can be 75% efficient, though it does depend on which components the manufacturer uses.  Some vendors are claiming up to 90% efficiency.  Considering how young this market is, its kind of remarkable.

    Also – these products do work with Qi, the standard for wireless charging developed by the WPC

  17. _hm
    January 26, 2013

    @Prunty: This looks quite misguiding numbers! Please check with manufacturer. For your information, dc/dc converter also has efficiency close to 90%. Please check again efficienct must be much lower.

     

  18. itguyphil
    January 26, 2013

    I agree. The health implications are a huge factor.

  19. Michell Prunty
    January 26, 2013

    @ _hm

    How low do you expect the percentage to be?  Here is a link for Toshiba that mentions their (74%) efficiency: http://www.toshiba.com/taec/news/press_releases/2012/wrls_12_656.jsp

    EVWireless is the company that claims a 90% efficiency, though that is for electric vehicle wireless charging. The efficiency rate depends on what the manufacturer uses to replace the copper coils with.

    I haven't been able to do an in-person comparison of wired vs wireless, so maybe someone who has can chime in which actual charging times. 

    The reason why wireless charging could be considered “green” is that as we add in more coils for more devices, the standby power remains the same vs the scenario where we have 2+ adapters kept constantly plugged in for 2x the standby power consumption. 

  20. _hm
    January 26, 2013

    Thanks for information. I would say it is link efficiency. If wire charger link efficiency is 100%, wireless is 70% or better. This is quite high to my surprise. I would consider it as green. I will employ more wireless charger.

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