New NTT Docomo’s smartphone users soon notice that it takes a lot less time for their devices’ battery meters to reach full charge. Japan’s Docomo will be one of the first carriers to sell phone chargers using Qualcomm’s new Quick Charge 2.0 technology, which will reduce the time to fill up a phone battery up to 75 percent faster.
The technology needs to be both in the phone as well as the power adapter to work, though 2.0-capable phones will still connect chargers using older Quick Charge technologies. Qualcomm has been taking care of the phone side of the equation by embedding Quick Charge across its line of smartphone processors (Snapdragon 400, 600 and 800 chips), and it’s also been offering the technology as a stand-alone integrated circuit design for phone makers. The HTC One M8 and Samsung Galaxy S5 are among the first devices to support Quick Charge 2.0.
The phone or tablet tells the adapter’s power management chip to deliver more power to the device, charging it more quickly. Standard chargers run at 5 volts, while Quick Charge 2.0 can run at 6, 9, and 12 volts. So to fully charge a 3300mAh battery, a standard charger would take 270 minutes, while a charger with Quick Charge 2.0 could take as little as 96 minutes.
Starting this summer, Qualcomm will begin selling Quick Charge power adapters as well as complement of smartphones and tablets capable of using them, though neither Qualcomm nor NTT Docomo named any specific models.
Qualcomm launched Quick Charge 1.0 in 2012 after it bought power-optimization startup Summit Microelectronics. Though the technology, which improved charge times by 40 percent, made it into many Andorid and Windows phones, Qualcomm quickly jumped to its second iteration, partnering with Power Integrations to develop the power adapter’s variable voltage capabilities and boosting the maximum power delivered to the device from 10 watts to 60 watts. The increased wattage is designed not just to make smartphone adapter more efficient, but also larger devices like smaller notebook computers.