Power Matters Alliance

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The Power Matters Alliance uses this mark of interoperability to show that various devices are compatible with the PMA systems.
Power Matters Alliance
Abbreviation PMA
Formation March, 2012
Type Industry Consortium
Technology
Region served Worldwide
Membership Open
Key people Ron Resnick (President)
Website powermatters.org

Power Matters Alliance (PMA) is a trade association whose mission is to advance a suite of standards and protocols for wireless power transfer. Founded by Procter & Gamble and Powermat Technologies in March 2012, PMA is networking technology companies in order to guarantee consumers interoperable devices which employ wireless power technology. Marked by the electron “P”, PMA interface standard describes analog power transfer (inductive and resonant), digital transceiver communication, cloud based power management, and environmental sustainability. The PMA board of directors includes representatives from AT&T, Duracell, Starbucks, Powermat Technologies, Flextronics, Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and Energy Star. The membership of the PMA is made up of companies across the mobile device ecosystem, including handset providers, service providers, chipset suppliers, manufacturers, test labs and public establishments.[1]

The problem[edit]

According to market researches, by 2016 there is expected to be over 10 billion mobile connected devices,[2] and every year nearly 2 billion new mobile phones are sold worldwide.[3] In addition, chargers make up roughly 30-40 percent of the total material used in constructing a mobile phone.

Incompatibility of Charging Standards[edit]

A universal standard for recharging devices would improve convenience and reduce manufacturing waste associated with incompatible chargers. Expanding wireless power could reduce production waste if consumers could use the same chargers across generations of devices.[4] However, no such universal standard exists, and PMA is not compatible with existing wireless charging standards, forcing many consumers to discard existing chargers when switching phones or carriers that support PMA.[5] This forced generation of ewaste by the PMA members lead one to one change.org petition calling on the PMA members to take their contribution to electronic waste more seriously.[6]

PMA standard and technology[edit]

The PMA's stated mission is to formulate and advance a suite of interface standards for smart and energy-efficient transfer of wireless power. The PMA is actively publishing a suite of standards based on inductive coupling technology to provide advanced inductive and resonant power. In addition the PMA seeks to add a digital layer providing policy-setting, monitoring, and extensible APIs. The PMA manages interoperability, certification and logo programs according to these specifications.

On February 11, 2014, the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) and the PMA announced that they signed an agreement calling for the following immediate next steps:[7]

  • PMA adopts the A4WP Rezence specification as the PMA magnetic resonance charging specification for both transmitters and receivers in both single and multi-mode configurations
  • A4WP adopts the PMA inductive specification as a supported option for multi-mode inductive, magnetic resonance implementations
  • A4WP to collaborate with PMA on their open network API for network services management

This agreement was a move toward industry consolidation of wireless charging standards.[8][9]

Key Features[edit]

  • Inductive Coupling
  • Digital Transceiver Communication
  • Cloud Based Power Management

Mark of Interoperability[edit]

The 'Electron P' mark of interoperability is required to set compatibility standards across markets and industry, and across all links in the delivery chain of the alliance. It is used by industries and companies that adopt and implement the PMA standards. It is displayed at coffee shops, clubs, hair salons, airline terminals, entertainment venues, and on mobile phone accessories.

Semi-Annual Conferences and Quarterly PlugFests[edit]

PMA conducts member conferences to provide members the chance to network with each other, participate face-to-face in the active working groups and receive the latest industry updates related to wireless charging and PMA. PMA PlugFests continuously improve the quality of the PMA Certification Program and the eco system. Members also conduct interoperability testing (at quarterly PlugFests) on various combinations of their receiver and transmitter equipment. This helps prepare members to submit their products for formalized certification testing.

Working Groups[edit]

Working Group Description
IPG The Inductive Power WG is a technical WG that is responsible for the development and maintenance of technical specifications for wireless power technologies based on direct electromagnetic induction.
SWG The Sustainability WG is an advisory WG whose function is to advise the technical WGs with respect to the requirements that permit the wireless power technologies to fulfill the social, economic, and other requirements of present and future generations (e.g., energy saving, etc.).
RWG The Regulatory WG is an advisory WG whose function is to advise the technical WGs with respect to the global emissions and coexistence requirements for the PMA technology being developed in support of the development of Wireless Power technologies which are compliant with regional regulatory requirements to the greatest extent possible.
CWG The Certification WG is a technical WG that is responsible for the establishment of world class certification program with short, medium and long term programs including the development and maintenance of test plans and implementation conformance specifications.
MPG The Multimode Power Group (MPG) is a technical WG that is responsible for the development and maintenance of technical specifications for multimode operations between the PMA inductive technologies and other PMA endorsed wireless power transfer technologies.
NWG The Network Working Group (NWG) is a technical committee responsible for the development and maintenance of network communication strategies and protocols for network related functionality of wireless charging spots. The scope of work done in this committee relates to provisioning, operation, administration, management, and user interaction of the network. The work ensures a viable framework to ensure continued growth of the wireless charging ecosystem.
TSC The TSC is the overall approval and coordinating body for all PMA technical activities conducted in one (1) or more of the technical PMA WGs. The TSC includes appointed leadership, WG Chairs, and Program Office staff.

Adoption[edit]

On June 11, 2014, Starbucks announced plans to provide wireless chargers at its coffeehouses in the United States and to test the wireless chargers in select European and Asian markets.[10][11] The wireless chargers will be produced by Duracell and will be compatible with any Qi device that is also PMA certified.

Compared to the Qi standard[edit]

At present, there are no PMA-certified mobile devices,[12] in contrast to the Qi standard which is widely supported on Android and Windows phone devices such as the Google and LG's Nexus 4 and 5, LG's G2, and most Nokia Lumia devices.[13] In addition, tablets such as the Nexus 7, support Qi.

In the United States, support for the PMA and Qi standards are split between the major cellphone networks, with PMA supported by AT&T and Qi supported by Verizon, T-Mobile US, and Sprint. This has led to a developing format war, as both sides seek to gain market share, resulting in many wireless chargers and devices being mutually incompatible. Adoption has been further slowed by attempts from wireless carriers to monetize their respective wireless charging standards at the expense of rival formats.[14] Some major phone equipment vendors, such as Qualcomm, have joined both standards. While the Qi standard is more widely used, support from companies such as Starbucks and AT&T has left the US with a large and growing PMA charging network in coffee shops and supermarkets, although they cannot generally be used to charge most mobile devices without the use adapters. AT&T has acknowledged the lack of compatible devices, and has said that charging cases will be released at additional cost at or soon after the launch date.

There is very little technical difference between these two inductive WPT specs. Any single transmitter or receiver device can now work with both of the most popular inductive WPT standards (PMA and Qi). Today, chip makers are providing “dual mode” inductive transmitter and receiver IC solutions. Eventually, these may enable devices that interoperate between standards, although no such hardware is currently available.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Members: All Listings". Power Matters Alliance. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  2. ^ Perez, Sarah (February 2012). "The Number Of Mobile Devices Will Exceed World’s Population By 2012". techcrunch.com. 
  3. ^ Bolla, Rafaelle (2011). "Environmental benefits of a universal mobile charger". ITU News. 
  4. ^ Feriss, David (July 24, 2012). "How wireless charging will make life simpler". Forbes. 
  5. ^ Fisher, Michael. "The US Lumia 1520 has the wrong kind of wireless charging. Thanks, AT&T!". Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  6. ^ Janis, Arellano. "Allow Qi Wireless Charging". Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  7. ^ "Alliance for Wireless Power and Power Matters Alliance Join Forces". PR Newswire. Retrieved February 11, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Wireless charging takes big step forward as rival groups team up". Cnet. 
  9. ^ Digital Trends http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/a4wp-and-pma-wireless-charging-groups-join-together/ |url= missing title (help). 
  10. ^ http://news.starbucks.com/news/national-rollout-of-wireless-charging-by-duracell-powermat-begins-in-starbu
  11. ^ http://www.cnet.com/news/starbucks-to-hook-up-wireless-charging-stations-in-shops/

External links[edit]