Wireless power is ready to take its next big step forward. Imagine sitting at work with your monitors, phone, and computer at your desk while not having to worry about a single power cable. That’s the future thanks to semiconductors.
Gallium Nitride power semiconductors could make it possible to transmit power wirelessly to ordinary home appliances instead of plugging them into power outlets. Efficient Power Conversion Corporation, also known as EPC, is one of the companies working on Gallium Nitride-based power management devices. EPC has demonstrated not just wireless charging, but also wireless power, through use of its enhancement mode Gallium Nitride-on-Silicon transistors. For wireless power, EPC uses a technique called magnetic resonance technology, the same method used for wirelessly charging smartphones and tablets.
The basic idea is to bury charging coils in ordinary surfaces such as tabletops. Phones, laptops, and even kitchen appliances such as toasters or blenders would also contain pick-up coils that would allow them to run from the power provided by the table-top charge coils. Resonant wireless charging relies on a high-frequency oscillating magnetic field transferring energy between two coils operating at the same resonant frequency. Several devices can be charged from a single primary coil.
But don’t count on running your kitchen appliances from a table top any time soon. There are a variety of issues yet to be settled before wireless power becomes widespread. For one thing, there are competing technical standards for wireless power transfer. However, companies like EPC envision a future where the ac cords of today can only be found in exhibits at the Smithsonian museum.
Although cables are still tangling up your life now, fear not. The race to cut the power cord is on.