Intel may not be inside a lot of mobile devices -- at least yet -- but it could soon be making a major impact on the way you charge those devices.
The chip giant announced yesterday that it is teaming up with IDT to develop that company's resonance recharging technology, which would allow you to juice up cell phones, digital cameras, and the like without plugging them into a charging cable. Intel says the reference chipset that would contain IDT's technology will be available in the first half of 2013.
After hardware partners test that chipset, you could eventually start seeing Ultrabooks, desktops and standalone chargers that can charge compatible smartphones and other devices without the tangle of an additional cord. It could provide a major competitive advantage to Intel-powered hardware if it can get enough buy-in from its manufacturing partners.
Wireless charging technology works by creating a magnetic field in the transmitter coil that can provide power to the receiver coil. This inductive charging is enhanced by resonant circuits. IDT claims that its integrated circuit solutions are 80-percent smaller and 50-percent cheaper than its competitors', obviously major factors when you're trying to squeeze them onto tiny chipsets as efficiently as possible. According to Intel, it also means you're not limited to charging on a "power mat."
Intel has been promising this wireless charging technology for years now, and while it still seems a couple of years away, this announcement marks a major step toward finally reaching that goal.