Super Fast Charging in mobiles explained
Many of us have seen advertisements endorsing extremely fast charging, termed as Warp charging, SuperVooc charging, Quick charging and a dozen of crazy yet innovative names.
But have you ever wondered how exactly these “fast” charging methods actually work. Let’s get started to understand….
The primary purpose of a fast charger is to deliver deliver a higher power input to the mobile phone. To do this function, both the current and the voltage need to enhanced. Previously, USB chargers would deliver, 0.5 Ampere of current using 5 Volts making for only a 2.5 Watts supply. The total power is a simple multiplication of the current and voltage. When compared to current fast chargers that supply as high as 65 Watts (W), the massive increase in charging speeds is quite evident.
The charging process is usually a comprehensive 3 step process:
- Stage 1 involves Constant Current delivery by peaking both voltage and current,
- Stage 2 involves Saturation, where current is lowered when the voltage has peaked.
- Stage 3 involves Trickle charging, where the battery is slowly charged to just compensate the rate of discharge. This step is mandatory for increasing the battery life and continues even after the battery is 100% charged.
Current phone performance comparison
The OnePlus 8 supports a 30W charger, and gives a 50% charge to the 4510 mAh battery in 23 minutes.
Apple uses 18W charging for the iPhone 11 Pro series and is able to charge the 3969 mAh battery from 0-50% in 30 minutes.
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra supports 45W charging, and gives a 70% charge to the 5000 mAh battery in just 30 minutes.
The current fastest charging phone is the Oppo Reno Ace, which has a 65 W charger that fully charges the 4000mAh battery in 31 minutes.
The technology used
The task of delivering high speed charging involves a combination of hardware and software optimizations:
- Software monitoring to adjust the amount of charge delivered at every stage of charging.
- Thermal management to avoid charging slowdowns due to heat, maintaining a steady and fast charging rate while ensuring no battery damage takes place.
With the increase in usage of mobile phones, it is very important for all of us to have our mobiles charge at speeds as fast as possible. Though fast charging is supported by relevant software optimizations, certifications, charger and cable customization, its is important to take note that phones often get warm while charging at high speeds and it is essential for us to use only chargers/cables provided and originally intended for those specific handsets to make sure safety remains uncompromised along with high performance charging.
The future is approaching
Vivo last year announced 120 W Super FlashCharge technology to be soon supported by its devices, which would translate to charging a 4000 mAh battery in just 13 minutes.
We are definitely headed to some insane charging speeds in very near future.
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