Frequently Asked Questions
About AirFuel Alliance®
What is the AirFuel Alliance?
AirFuel Alliance is a global coalition of innovative companies who are committed to a world where we can power up without plugging in. We achieve this by developing standards for leading edge wireless power technologies and accelerating their adoption. AirFuel Resonant and RF universal standards are driving the path forward by enabling rapid charging of multiple devices simultaneously and free of cords.
Who can join the AirFuel Alliance?
Any company interested in wireless charging and committed to working on interoperability and open standards is encouraged to join. We work with you to find the right membership level, and to join you will be asked to fill out an application and financial agreement. Learn about AirFuel Alliance membership here.
How much does it cost to join?
There are multiple levels of membership for AirFuel Alliance that suit different organization types and needs. View membership options
When should I use AirFuel vs. AirFuel Alliance and what’s the difference?
AirFuel Alliance represents a coalition of people and companies that share a common mission to advance wireless power. AirFuel represents the standards and technologies that AirFuel Alliance members have agreed to adopt to standardize wireless technologies for the benefit of consumers and the industry as a whole. When talking about the collective, refer to the AirFuel Alliance. When speaking about AirFuel standards and technologies, simply use AirFuel.
What does the Alliance do?
We provide technical requirements, specifications and guidelines that members can use to ensure wireless charging products (based on the same technology) interoperate with one another and that wireless power technology is high quality, safe and reliable. The Alliance and its members also work to promote wireless charging and raise worldwide awareness of its many benefits for consumer and commercial use. We continually listen to the needs of the market and actively support a range of wireless power technologies that will deliver the best experience and realize our vision of a world without wires.
Are there levels of membership?
Yes, we have two main levels of membership: Sponsor (Board of Directors) and Full. We also have made cost-effective membership options available for startups and academic organizations.
How is the Alliance structured?
The AirFuel Alliance is governed by a Board of Directors made up of member companies including: Energous, Samsung, EPC, and WiTricity. The Board of Directors has appointed Dr. Sanjay Gupta as President and Chairman of the Board. Dr Gupta leads the AirFuel organization with support from various Committee Leaders.
Where is AirFuel Alliance located?
We’re a global organization with team members in the U.S., Korea and Hong Kong.
About the Wireless Power Industry
What’s the difference between Resonant, RF and Inductive technology?
Both Inductive and Resonant technologies use coils of wire to transfer power while RF uses radio frequency. There are also differences in the transmission frequencies and communication protocols, which translate into variations in spatial freedom to support multiple use cases. For example, Resonant coils are tuned for better efficiency and enable spatial freedom while Inductive requires the device to be attached to the charge.
Resonant charging utilizes uniquely designed coils to allow movement over longer distances while charging. With resonant charging, any enabled surface can power a device, up to 50mm height and from a wide surface area.
Resonant-based chargers inject an oscillating current into a highly resonant coil to create an electromagnetic field. A second coil with the same resonant frequency receives power from the electromagnetic field and converts it back into an electrical current that can be used to power and charge devices.
This lets you transfer power over longer distances and does not require exact orientation. Learn more about AirFuel Resonant technology.
RF charging uses a radio frequency transmitter and a receiver embedded within the device (not a coil) to pick up RF energy and convert it to power. RF provides low power at distances ranging from a few centimeters to a meter, delivering true spatial freedom. This means it works well with wearables, medical devices or other devices that need the broadest spatial freedom. Learn more about AirFuel RF technology.
Inductive charging uses closely coupled coils to deliver transfer of a magnetic field over a short distance (up to 20mm). It works well for devices that can be placed directly on top of the charging source (i.e., with no spatial freedom) such as a smartphones on top of a charging pad.
We’ve been hearing about wireless charging for several years now – why is it taking so long?
As with any new or disruptive technology, it takes years to develop a vibrant market. Wireless charging is at an exciting inflection point as we move from early stage, proprietary solutions to standards-based solutions. We have more and more standards-based devices and infrastructure coming to market which helps drive the growth of the market.
Do you support companies already using the AirFuel Inductive standard?
Yes – but AirFuel has discontinued specification work on Inductive technology. Our organization’s focus is on next-generation solutions, which include Resonant and RF technologies.
What about Inductive technology – I thought AirFuel supported Inductive?
AirFuel has worked with all three major wireless charging technologies since our creation in 2015 (based on the merger of PMA and A4WP). But, we’ve seen clear market indicators that Resonant & RF deliver the mobile charging experiences consumers prefer most. We’ve also seen that Resonant provides the best solution to enable widespread public infrastructure deployment.
Having widespread infrastructure to support devices is critical to creating major market penetration. AirFuel Resonant has the benefit of being easy to install while Inductive solutions are costly and difficult to install (this is a key reason Inductive has failed to scale). With Resonant, we are already seeing deployments of public and private infrastructure – particularly in Asia – with lots more to come.
Can I get my product AirFuel-certified?
Yes. The AirFuel Alliance has created a certification program based on ISO 17065 and ISO/IEC 17025. The program consists of independent third-party testing by Authorized Test Labs followed by review and approval from our Certification Authority. They attest to compliance with the Conformance Test Specification, the Interoperability Test Specification, as well as satisfying the features and attributes necessary to ensure products and surfaces from different manufacturers are interoperable.
For questions about getting your products AirFuel-certified or about our Authorized Test Laboratories, please submit a contact form or contact Ed Pichon, Head of Testing & Certification, at email@example.com.
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