Power Matters Alliance

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The Power Matters Alliance logo, which is placed on devices that support the PMA wireless charging standard.
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 global, not-for-profit, industry organization 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]

PMA leadership has been working to help diminish the divide among wireless power transfer (WPT) standards and accelerate marketplace adoption by focusing on the following two areas in 2014 as the fastest way forward: 1. Encouraging delivery of multimodal forms of WPT within single devices for an optimal consumer experience - including technical harmonization of multiple inductive WPT standards. 2. Members have made recent strides in proliferating wireless power transfer technology within automobiles and popular public infrastructure venues. The Alliance’s working theory is that if the members focus on certifying and delivering power to consumers in a mobile way to help them power up wherever they are, the wireless power transfer industry as a whole will also benefit.

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:[4]

  • 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.[5][6]

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.[7][8] The wireless chargers will be produced by Duracell and will be compatible with any Qi device that is also PMA certified.[citation needed]

Compared to the Qi standard[edit]

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).[citation needed] Today, a few chip makers are providing “dual mode” inductive transmitter and receiver IC solutions, albiet currently for corporate and commercial applications.[9] Harmonizing these two WPT standards adds little cost, if any, to produce the device as dual mode inductive. There is no need to modify the receiver’s inductive coil, magnetics, or other components. For example, a Qi receiver device can work with the PMA-only transmitter solution being deployed in all Starbucks stores across the nation, with modifications being made to the Qi receiver device.[citation needed]

In order for this example to work, the receiver device maker would need to:

  • Implement a dual mode inductive wireless power transfer solution within the receiver with the correct IC
  • Enable PMA mode within that handset
  • Formalize industry involvement as a WPT solution provider by joining all of the respective organizations that control the standards. In this example PMA and WPC.

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. ^ "Alliance for Wireless Power and Power Matters Alliance Join Forces". PR Newswire. Retrieved February 11, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Wireless charging takes big step forward as rival groups team up". Cnet. 
  6. ^ Digital Trends http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/a4wp-and-pma-wireless-charging-groups-join-together/ |url= missing title (help). 
  7. ^ http://news.starbucks.com/news/national-rollout-of-wireless-charging-by-duracell-powermat-begins-in-starbu
  8. ^ http://www.cnet.com/news/starbucks-to-hook-up-wireless-charging-stations-in-shops/
  9. ^ http://www.engadget.com/2014/08/21/chargespot-pocket-qi-pma-wireless-charger/

External links[edit]