Fast Charging Technologies

May 2021

Over the years, smartphones have become increasingly larger of size, being provided with higher capacity batteries. Due to the fast charging technologies on the market today, it has become possible to charge these devices in a short time as well. The most popular fast charging technologies at the moment are:

  1. Qualcomm® Quick Charge
  2. USB Power Delivery (USB-C PD)
  3. Gallium Nitride (GaN)
  4. Super-Si

In this article, we will explain to you what these technologies are exactly and how they differ.  

#1 Qualcomm® Quick Charge (QC)

Quick Charge is one of the most used fast charging technologies, but what is Quick Charge exactly? Several versions of this fast charging technology are available, starting with Quick Charge 2.0 released by Qualcomm® in 2014. This simple and inexpensive charging solution is implemented in many devices and 75% faster than different chargers.

INOV (Intelligent Negotiation for Optimal Voltage) was introduced with the Quick Charge 3.0. This algorithm makes charging mobile phones, for example, more efficient by optimizing the power supply. In addition, the Quick Charge 3.0 is 4-6°C cooler, 16% faster, and 38% more efficient than its predecessor.

The technology has constantly been improved and the arrival of Quick Charge 4.0 was a fact in December 2016. This new version offers extra protection against overvoltage and overheating through temperature balancing and advanced safety applications. The Quick Charge 4+ that followed in 2017 is faster, more efficient, and cooler than the 4.0 edition. Devices with this version are also compatible with the Quick Charge 2.0 and 3.0, in contrast to Quick Charge 4.0 devices.

The final version is the Quick Charge 5.0 which has been released in July 2020. This version has extra power (no less than 100W more) than previous versions. Qualcomm® claims that this technology can charge a phone with a 4500 mAh battery up to 50% in 5 minutes! It is now also cross-compatible with all USB, PD, and PPS systems.

#2 USB-C Power Delivery (PD)

USB-C Power Delivery is a fast charging technology supported by certain iOS/Apple and Android/Google/Samsung devices. This technology supplies more power than standard charging technologies. Benefits of this fast charging version are its speed, power, and safety. In contrast to a standard 5W charger devices are charged up to 70% quicker with a USB-C-PD charger. The USB-C circuits used for this technology are designed to handle higher power without overheating. Three things are essential to use this technology:

  1. You have a smartphone or tablet with USB-C-PD technology
  2. You have a USB-C charging cable
  3. You have a wall or car charger with USB-C-PD technology

#3 Gallium Nitride (GaN)

Gallium Nitride, also known as GaN, is a material which has become increasingly popular for use in chargers. This can be explained by the fact that GaN produces less heat. This allows the parts of the charger to be placed closer together, so that the chargers can be made very compact in size without compromising safety! GaN is the replacement for silicon, where electricity passes through the components faster and therefore charges our mobile devices faster.

#4 Super-Si?

Super-Si is a cheaper and more efficient fast charging technology than GaN at lower wattages. Since the GaN components are very expensive and have a longer delivery time, the Si technology is increasingly used with chargers <30W. The new silicon base type material is small, fast, and work reliable at high temperatures. The switching frequency of this technology can have up to 1MHZ, which is equal to the level of GaN!


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