TI - An introduction to the Wireless Power Consortium standard and TI’s compliant solutions

TI - An introduction to the Wireless Power Consortium standard and TI’s compliant solutions
Power Management
Texas Instruments Incorporated
An introduction to the Wireless Power
Consortium standard and TI’s
compliant solutions
By Bill Johns
Senior Applications Engineer
Wireless power is beginning to show great potential in the
consumer market. The ability to power an electronic
device without the use of wires provides a convenient
solution for the users of portable devices and also gives
designers the ability to develop more creative answers to
problems. This technology’s benefits can be seen in the
many portable devices, from cell phones to electric cars,
that normally operate on battery power.
Inductive coupling is the method by which efficient and
versatile wireless power can be achieved. For ease of use
and the benefit of both designers and consumers, the
Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) has developed a
standard (see Reference 1) that creates interoperability
between the device providing power (power transmitter,
charging station) and the device receiving power (power
receiver, portable device). Established in 2008, the WPC is
a group of Asian, European, and American companies in
diverse industries, including electronics manufacturers
and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The WPC
standard defines the type of inductive coupling (coil configuration) and the communications protocol to be used
for low-power wireless devices. Any device operating
under this standard will be able to pair with any other
WPC-compliant device. One key benefit to this approach is
that it makes use of the coils for communications between
the power transmitter and the power receiver. See Figure 1
for a typical application diagram.
WPC standard for wireless power
Under the WPC standard, “low power” for wireless transfer
means a draw of 0 to 5 W. Systems that fall within the
scope of this standard are those that use inductive coupling
between two planar coils to transfer power from the power
transmitter to the power receiver. The distance between
the two coils is typically 5 mm. Regulation of the output
voltage is provided by a global digital control loop where
the power receiver communicates with the power transmitter and requests more or less power. Commu­ni­ca­tion is
unidirectional from the power receiver to the power transmitter via backscatter modulation. In backscatter modulation, the power-receiver coil is loaded, changing the current
draw at the power transmitter. These current changes are
monitored and demodulated into the information required
for the two devices to work together.
The WPC standard defines the three key areas of the
system—the power transmitter that will supply power, the
power receiver that will use the power, and the communications protocol between the two devices. These three
areas are explored next.
Figure 1. Typical wireless-power functional diagram
AC to DC
(Phone or
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1Q 2011
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Power transmitter
Communications protocol
The direction of power transfer is always from the power
transmitter to the power receiver. The key circuits of the
power transmitter are the primary coil, used to transfer
power to the power-receiver coil; the control unit for
driving the primary coil; and the communications circuit
for demodulating the voltage or current from the primary
coil. Flexibility of the power-transmitter design is limited
to provide consistent power and voltage levels to the
power receiver.
The power receiver identifies itself to the power transmitter as a compliant device and also provides configuration information. Once the transmitter initiates power
transfer, the power receiver sends error packets to the
power transmitter requesting more or less power. The
power transmitter stops supplying power upon receiving
an “End Power” message, or if no packets are received
for more than 1.25 seconds. While no power is being
transmitted, the power transmitter enters a low-power
standby mode.
The WPC specification allows for both fixed- and movingcoil configurations. A single fixed coil, referred to as type
A1, is the solution that Texas Instruments (TI) supports.
The power transmitter, typically a flat surface upon
which the user places the power receiver, is connected to
the power source. The coils of a WPC-compliant device
operate as a resonant half bridge on a 50% duty cycle,
with a 19-VDC input (±1 V). If more or less power is
needed at the power receiver, the frequency in the coil
changes but stays between 110 and 205 kHz, depending
on power demands.
The communications protocol includes analog and digital
pinging; identification and configuration; and power transfer. A typical start-up sequence that occurs when a power
receiver is placed on a power transmitter proceeds as
1.An analog ping from the power transmitter detects the
presence of an object.
2.A digital ping from the power transmitter is a longer
version of the analog ping and gives the power receiver
time to reply with a signal-strength packet. If the signalstrength packet is valid, the power transmitter keeps
power on the coil and proceeds to the next phase.
3.During the identification and configuration phase, the
power receiver sends packets that identify it and that
provide configuration and setup information to the
power transmitter.
4.In the power-transfer phase, the power receiver sends
control error packets to the power transmitter to
increase or decrease the power supply. These packets
are sent approximately every 250 ms during normal
operation or every 32 ms during large signal changes.
Also during normal operation, the power transmitter
sends power packets every 5 seconds.
5.To end the power transfer, the power receiver sends an
“End Power” message or sends no communications for
1.25 seconds. Either of these events places the power
transmitter in a low-power state.
Power receiver
The power receiver is typically a portable device. The key
circuits of the power receiver are the secondary coil, used
to receive power from the power-transmitter coil; the rectification circuit, used to convert AC to DC; the powerconditioning circuit, which buffers the unregulated DC
into regulated DC; and the communications circuit, which
modulates the signal to the secondary coil. The power
receiver is responsible for all communications of its
authentication and power requirements, as the power
transmitter is only a “listener.”
While design of the power transmitter is restricted to
keep it WPC-compliant, much more freedom is permitted
for designing the power receiver. The coil dimension of the
power receiver can be adjusted to meet the device’s form
factor. The coil voltage at the power receiver is full-wave
rectified, with a typical efficiency of 70% for a 5-V, 500-mA
output. Because communication between the two devices
is unidirectional, the WPC selected the power receiver to be
the “talker.” Inductive power transfer works by coupling a
magnetic field from primary to secondary coils. Uncoupled
field lines rotate around the primary coil and do not represent loss as long as the field lines don’t couple a parasitic
load (for example, eddy-current loss in metal).
TI’s WPC-compliant solutions
TI is a founding member of the WPC and has taken an
active role in developing a robust wireless-power specification. TI has developed reliable solutions for both a power
receiver and a power transmitter in the form of three newly
developed ICs. The power receiver uses the MSP430bq1010
and bq25046 devices. The power transmitter is based on
the bq500110, which supports type A1 (single-coil) configurations. Both receiver and transmitter ICs are designed
to be interoperable with other WPC-compliant solutions.
The MSP430bq1010 in the power receiver handles all
of the logic functions and communications. The onboard
analog-to-digital converters monitor the levels of voltage
into and current out of the bq25046. The bq25046 provides
load-current information to the MSP430bq1010, which then
uses this information to control the power transmitter’s
operating point. The bq25046 provides a low-current, 3.3-V
low-dropout regulator (LDO) to power the MSP430bq1010
and logic circuit, while a larger 5.0-V LDO is capable of
providing up to 1 A of current to the main output.
The power-transmitter solution is provided with the
bq500110. This device demodulates and decodes serial
data from the power receiver. The control circuits first
Analog Applications Journal
1Q 2011
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Power Management
Texas Instruments Incorporated
certify that the power receiver is indeed a WPC-compliant
device, then configure the power transmitter accordingly.
TI’s BQTESLA100LP EVM kit combines separate transmitter and receiver designs into a single kit that includes
mechanical packaging. This kit can be used for evaluation
of the ICs or as a design example. The WPC has certified
that both the power-transmitter and the power-receiver
solutions meet the Version 1.0 specification. No software
is required to operate the EVM, which needs only a 19-V
input. The EVM kit’s output will be 5 V at up to 1 A. The
transmitter EVM includes multiple LED options for visual
indication of power-transmission status. Also, two buzzer
options provide audio indication of the start of power
The WPC standard is a set of guidelines that allows manufacturers to develop solutions with the confidence that
their components will mesh with a variety of other WPCcertified components designed for inductive power transfer.
Document Title
TI Lit. #
2. “Wireless Power Transmitter Manager,”
bq500110 Data Sheet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . slusae0
3. “1.1A, Single-Input 5-V Power Supply IC
for Wireless Power Applications,” bq25046
Data Sheet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . slusa83
4. “Wireless Receiver-Side Communication and
Power Monitoring IC for Wireless Power,”
MSP430bq1010 Data Sheet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . slas696
5. “bq500110EVM-688 Evaluation Module,”
User’s Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . slvu429a
6. “bq25046EVM-687 Evaluation Module,”
User’s Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . slvu420
Related Web sites
Replace partnumber with bq25046, bq500110, or
For more information related to this article, you can down­
load an Acrobat® Reader® file at www.ti.com/lit/litnumber
and replace “litnumber” with the TI Lit. # for the
materials listed below.
Document Title
1. Wireless Power Consortium. “System
Description Wireless Power Transfer, Vol. 1,
Part 1,” Version 1.0 [Online]. Available:
TI Lit. #
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