Rumor: Intel's Wireless Charging Tech Coming to Ultrabooks and Smartphones in 2013

Pulkit Chandna

Despite having been around for a number of years now, wireless charging has hitherto never really threatened to take off. This is due in large part to the fact that current wireless charging solutions don’t really have too many clear advantages over wired charging. But rumor has it that chip maker Intel will try and change that next year by having its homegrown WREL (Wireless Resonant Energy Link) technology built into ultrabooks and smartphones.

According to Digitimes , its sources expect Intel-based ultrabooks and smartphones with the chip maker’s resonant charging technology to appear sometime during the second half of 2013. However, the Taiwanese site’s sources don’t foresee a deluge of such devices next year, with Haswell (Ivy Bridge’s successor) “unlikely to fully adopt the wireless charging technology.”

“The costs, resources and management of multiple, incompatible power cords, bricks, etc. are already a nightmare for the typical user,” Intel says on a page dedicated to WREL. “WREL, in contrast to surface-based systems (power pads), demonstrates wireless power transfer whose efficiency can be nearly independent of orientation, distance, and load over a wide range of operating conditions. This technology could allow people to cut that last cord.”

To give you an idea of what Intel’s implementation of this in-house technology might look like, here’s a video of a recent demonstration by Intel of a smartphone using it to wirelessly draw power from an ultrabook.

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