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June 1, 2021
The Chinese smart device maker Xiaomi claims that it has set new records by fully charging a smartphone in eight minutes when wired, and in fifteen minutes when wireless.
Modified for the demo is Xiaomi’s own Mi 11 Pro that comes with a 4000aMh battery. The company showed in a video (embedded at the end of this story) that over a 200W wired “HyperCharge” system the phone can be fully charged in eight minutes, while over a 120W wireless system a full charge will take 15 minutes.
In comparison, when the phone was launched in March, the commercial version comes with a 5000aMh batter7. Xiaomi advertised its fast-charging to be 36 minutes when wired with USB Type-C 2.0, or 39 minutes when wireless, both over 67W environment. This is similar to power supply needed to charge personal computers.
By law of physics, there are at least three different ways to increase the units of power (watts, or W) to reduce the time needed to charge: increase the voltage (V), increase the current (ampere, or A), or reduce resistance (ohm). We don’t know which means, or the combination of them, that Xiaomi has used to achieve the new records.
In the demo video it isn’t clear (probably deliberately made so) what connector is used to charge the phone. It may or may not be a USB-C, and it may or may not be a standard cable. According to USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), a non-profit industry organisation, the vision is to push power delivery over USB to up to 100W (20V with 5A, but needs special cables). It also needs the receiving end (the phone) to be modified to be able to handle the increased energy level.
While consumers have adapted to the daily charging routines (as opposed to weekly charging in the olden days), it often takes one or two hours to fully charge a standard smartphone battery. Fast charging used to be a premium feature on high-end smartphones but has become a table stake now. Which makes companies work hard to beat records, in order to stand out from the competition, at least on paper or in video. Xiaomi has announced when, or if, the new charging mechanism will be commercialised.
Wei leads the Telecoms.com Intelligence function. His responsibilities include managing and producing premium content for Telecoms.com Intelligence, undertaking special projects, and supporting internal and external partners. Wei’s research and writing have followed the heartbeat of the telecoms industry. His recent long form publications cover topics ranging from 5G and beyond, edge computing, and digital transformation, to artificial intelligence, telco cloud, and 5G devices. Wei also regularly contributes to the Telecoms.com news site and other group titles when he puts on his technology journalist hat. Wei has two decades’ experience in the telecoms ecosystem in Asia and Europe, both on the corporate side and on the professional service side. His former employers include Nokia and Strategy Analytics. Wei is a graduate of The London School of Economics. He speaks English, French, and Chinese, and has a working knowledge of Finnish and German. He is based in Telecom.com’s London office.
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