The new generation of Qualcomm mobile processors can do more than just speed up your apps. With the 2013 generation of Snapdragon chips, Qualcomm is introducing Quick Charge 2.0, which it claims will charge the phone up to 75% faster than the competition.
Qualcomm’s fast charging technology works through a power management integrated circuit (PMIC) that works through the USB connector, which is how the phones are charged.
The technology resides in both the phone and the wall charger. It comes in both the Snapdragon 800 line of processors or as a standalone IC solution for phones that don’t use the 800. Qualcomm claims it can cut the time for a full charge from seven hours to three hours.
Fast Out of the Gate
Quick Charge works by telling the power supply to put out extra charge for the battery in the early stages of charging, then scales it back as the battery approaches full charge. Since it is part of the charger, you can’t get the benefits from third-party chargers, like the cigarette lighter chargers in cars.
However, Qualcomm is working to change that, too. Qualcomm is already working with leading AC/DC chipset suppliers and their AC/DC power supply partners to build Quick Charge 2.0 into standard micro-USB AC/DC wall chargers so you can use third-party chargers as well.
Last year Qualcomm introduced Quick Charge 1.0 and claimed a 40% improvement in charging rates. Phones with QC 1.0 include the HTC 8X, Motorola Droid DNA, HTC EVO 4G LTE, Google Nexus 4, LG Optimus G, Motorola Atrix HD LTE, Motorola Droid RAZR HD, the Nokia Lumia 820, 822, 920 and the Samsung Galaxy S III.
Other phone vendors have done similar smart charging implementations, but Qualcomm’s commanding lead in mobile phone chips and tablet chips can drive this like no other company can, said Jack Gold, president of J.Gold Associates, a mobile market research firm.
“It’s not just about the spec and chips, but also how it’s implemented. I don’t honestly think most consumers know it even exists, and are not likely making purchasing decisions around it. But like most tech, it will get better over time, especially as more consistency makes its way into the hardware,” said Gold.