Following their announcement earlier this year to merge, the Alliance For Wireless Power (A4WP) and Power Matters Alliance (PMA) rebranded to the AirFuel Alliance on Tuesday. The new name signifies the two groups effort to work together for a more unified smartphone and tablet wireless charging solution.
The two groups were separate over a number of years and together face a formidable competitor in the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), which offers the popular Qi wireless charging standard used in many mobile devices.
The new AirFuel Alliance boasts 195 member companies to help bring its vision of wireless power everywhere, although some of those members are also WPC backers. Broadcomm, for example, is playing both sides of the fence, as is Samsung and Qualcomm, to name a few.
The AirFuel Alliance branding will begin to appear on products and documentation to help consumers understand which charging pads are compatible with their devices.
Both the AirFuel Alliance solution and competing Qi standard offer inductive and resonant wireless power transfers, making them similar. However, the two approaches aren't yet compatible, making for situations where a device supporting one standard doesn't work on a charging pad using the other.
Ideally, a single standard would be most beneficial for consumers but for now, there are still multiple options. With the rebranding to AirFuel Alliance at least, there's one less name to remember when it comes to compatibility.