August 25, 08
Intel Demonstrates “Magnetic Field “ Wireless Power Transfer

Intel, the chip-maker, is working on a technology that would enable electronic devices such as PCs and mobile phones to be powered simply by placing them on a desk or table top.

The company said it had successfully used a magnetic field to transmit 60 watts of power a distance of two to three feet, and that it ultimately envisaged wireless chargers being built into household surfaces.

In experiments involving a wirelessly powered lightbulb, only 25 per cent of the power was lost in the transmission, Intel said.

"Something like this technology could be embedded in tables and work surfaces," Justin Rattner, Intel's chief technology officer, told The New York Times, "so as soon as you put down an appropriately equipped device it would immediately begin drawing power."

Mr Rattner said a team would present the findings of their research at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco this week.

Wireless power works by using magnetic fields to transfer power via process known as resonant induction. Typically, a coil of wire in one unit - known as the transmitter - creates a magnetic field that induces a current in a nearby unit, known as the receiver.

Magnetically-induced wireless charging is already deployed in some consumer devices - for instance electric toothbrushes, but the unit receiving the power always has to be placed on a base station. Intel has succeeded in increasing the distance that electricity can travel wirelessly.