Spark Connected expands into industrial at electronica 2018!

Meet Spark Connected at electronica 2018 - Nov. 13-16, 2018

I am a huge fan of wireless charging on my smartphone. The ability to top off my phone battery at any of the strategically located charging pads sprinkled around my home and office ensures the phone is always ready to perform any task I require. But did you realize that wireless power isn’t just for smartphones? From medical tablets in a busy doctor’s office, to autonomous inventory management robots and drones in a large fulfillment center, many devices can greatly benefit by removing cables and connectors.

Combine wireless power with next generation technologies powering IoT and Smart Factories, and you have a powerful recipe that can deliver the next wave of key applications all with a satisfying user experience.

If you want to learn more, and you are in Munich next week, stop by the electronica show in Messe München, Hall C3, Booth #502. I’ll see you there.

Ken Moore, Spark Connected CEO

“See how innovations in wireless power are changing your world” – Ken Moore, CEO at Spark Connected.

Press Release – Spark Connected Introduces New Certified Automotive In-Cabin Wireless Charging Solution

EMI in-cabin wireless charging Spark Connected
Spark connected, a Texas based leading technology developer of advanced and innovative wireless power system solutions with deep domain expertise, today announced its new automotive in-cabin wireless charging solution for charging smart phones.

DALLAS (PRWEB) October 31, 2018

Spark Connected, a leading technology developer of advanced and innovative wireless power system solutions, today announced its new automotive in-cabin wireless charging solution for smartphones.

The solution named The Beast, is a 15 Watt Qi certified three-coil three-coil transmitter and is also certified for CISPR-25 Class 4 to meet strict automotive in-cabin emissions requirements for electromagnetic interference (EMI) and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC).

Much can be improved with the way consumers charge their phones in their vehicles today – connectors do not always fit, cables get tangled and most of all connecting cables to devices while driving is certainly not very safe.

“The next frontier for wireless charging phones will be in the automotive segment with higher adoption rates in vehicles for ease of use and a better charging experience”, said Ruwanga Dassanayake, Chief Operating Officer at Spark Connected. “Spark Connected’s solution has gone through a robust certification process. This allows our automotive customers to adopt our technology with confidence and ease, minimizing expensive engineering effort while accelerating their products to market. The combination of CISPR-25 Class 4 and Qi certifications sets this solution apart and ahead of others in the industry”.

FEATURE SUMMARY

  • WPC Qi v1.2.4 15 Watt EPP certified
  • CISPR 25 Class 4 certified
  • Supports all Qi certified smartphones
  • AEC-Q100 qualified
  • Supports future products and standards with a firmware upgrade
  • Fixed frequency architecture to meet strict automotive requirements
  • Full power charging with a 6 – 19V input supply, supporting stop/start
  • Supports multi-coil configurations (standard and custom)
  • Single Infineon AURIX™ Wireless Power Controller supports wireless charging, CAN and NFC interface functions and security features

In addition to Automotive, The Beast may be ideal for applications such as in-cabin smart phone charging for commercial airlines, trucks, trains, and cruise liners.

Ruwanga Dassanayake, Spark Connected COO

“The next frontier for wirelessly charging phones will be in the automotive market with higher adoption rates in vehicles. Spark’s solution is the most advanced in the market with CISPR-25 Class 4 and Qi certifications”, said Ruwanga Dassanayake, Chief Operating Officer at Spark Connected.

About Spark Connected

Spark Connected | powering the world, wirelessly
Spark connected is an industry leader specializing in multiple advanced and safe wireless power technologies that benefits a wide variety of applications in the Automotive, Industrial, Infrastructure, Medical, Robotics, Security, Factory Automation, IOT, Smart Home, and Consumer markets.
Spark is transforming wireless power delivery and intelligent battery charging with innovative platforms, disruptive technology and breakthrough products enabling an enhanced user experience for all. The company specializes in Product Development and Engineering Solutions with a team of passionate innovators with decades combined deep domain expertise.

AURIX™ is a trademark of Infineon Technologies AG.

Please forward inquiries to: sales(at)sparkconnected.com
For more information visit: http://www.sparkconnected.com
Spark Connected is a Full Member of the Wireless Power Consortium

Ken Moore, CEO at APEC 2018

Ken Moore, wireless power solutions at APEC 2018, compatible with the Qi wireless charging protocol.

In this video Ken from Spark Connected gives a quick overview on their latest wireless power solutions at APEC 2018 in San Antonio, Texas. The solution includes all components necessary to create a complete wireless charging system, compatible with the Qi wireless charging protocol.

Ken Moore, CEO at the 2018 global event Applied Power Electronics Conference (APEC)
San Antonio, Texas

Technology that solves EMI for Automotive in-cabin wireless charging

EMI in-cabin wireless charging Spark Connected

Wireless Power and wireless charging is one of the great inventions of the 19th century.  (Notice I said “19th century” and not 21st century, since a brilliant Physicist named Nikola Tesla proposed a way to wirelessly power objects at a distance around 1899.)  This technology has just started making a positive impact on the way we interact with our overabundance of portable battery-powered connected devices that make our lives so much easier (or more difficult, depending on your point of view).  However, with any disruptive technology, there is a huge difference between building a very impressive laboratory demonstration and handing a finished product to someone that a) provides great benefits, b) is safe, and c) doesn’t break something else that also provides benefits.  (By the way, Tesla had a bit of trouble with this one as well…)

What is wireless power?

SPK-4101-3C15A Automotive in-cabin Wireless Charger
SPK-4101-3C15A Automotive in-cabin Wireless Charger

A wireless power transmitter is just that…a transmitter.  It broadcasts electro-magnetic energy that is “picked up” by the receiving device and poured into the battery.  Whether the transmitter and receiver are next to each other or farther apart, a transmitter generates energy that can also be unintentionally absorbed by other devices.  Depending on the device absorbing this energy, the resulting outcome can range from benign to disastrous.

Some environments, such as the inside of your car, are very sensitive to electro-magnetic energy, where some systems can actually stop working if we aren’t careful.  One example is the smart keys that are used in modern automobiles (starting your car with the push button while the key is in your pocket).  The operation of these keys relies on a radio frequency that is right on top of where a wireless transmitter operates when charging a smartphone.  That means if you try charging your phone while in your car, the car may not start or run correctly.  Disaster.  “But I want to use wireless power to charge my phone in my car!” you say.  Definitely a good use for wireless power or wireless charging, since fumbling with a cable and connector is not a pleasant experience while trying to get from point A to B.  So what do we do now?  Well, for starters, we can design a better mousetrap…er…transmitter.

This brings us in conflict with the first two rules of Engineering:  1) don’t make things more complicated than they need to be, and 2)  don’t make things more expensive than they need to be.  If we look at the current automotive in-cabin wireless charging products on the market, they use what is known as a traditional Class D full-bridge push-pull power section to drive the transmitter coil (we will refer to this as simply “Class D”).

EMI in-cabin wireless charging - Class D coil driver waveform
Class D coil driver waveform.

With Class D, we drive the coil with a square wave, like in this picture, where the red and blue lines represent the waveform for each half of the full-bridge.  As we remember from math class, a square wave is lots and lots of sine waves at different frequencies mashed together.  So a square wave has lots of harmonics that have significant power.  That means when we measure the EMI (Electromagnetic Interference) generated by the transmitter, we have lots and lots of frequencies that the transmitter broadcasts, and which can adversely affect other systems.  And since a signal with all these harmonics is our starting point, it is very difficult to filter out this interference so it does not affect other systems.  Starting with Class D makes solving the problem more difficult (violating Engineering rule #1), and adding the strong filters to address the EMI is expensive (violating Engineering rule #2).

The Spark Connected solution

Fortunately, Spark Connected has developed a power section architecture that reduces the harmonics in the signal that drives the coil.  By starting with a coil waveform that more closely resembles a sine wave, we generate lower EMI and cause much less interference with other systems.  Adding some simple filtering to this cleaner signal allows us to pass the key EMI requirements for automotive.  Rather than becoming a trade-off between EMI and functionality (charging smartphones), we are left with a solution that meets the needs, without requiring complicated and onerous EMI suppression efforts.  It may not be Wardenclyffe(1), but it is still pretty cool to be able to charge your smartphone in your car without worrying about impacting other critical systems.

Because, at the end of the day, if you are driving along old Route 66, the last thing you want to worry about is if charging your phone is going to cut short your road trip.

(1) A not-so-obscure Nikola Tesla cultural reference