Microchip Shows Off Qi 2.0 Wireless Power Transmitter Reference Design

March 27, 2024 by Aaron Carman

With Microchip’s newest dual-pad reference design, designers can start developing with the Qi 2.0 standard.

Microchip has released a Qi 2.0 wireless charging reference design to give designers a head start when developing with the latest standards. Compared to the original Qi standard, Qi 2.0 includes many new features that make it a big step up from its predecessor. With the newest Microchip reference design, designers can leverage the efficiency and charging speed improvements in their own devices and applications.


Microchip’s newest reference design

Microchip’s newest reference design incorporates the Qi 2.0 wireless charging standard. Image used courtesy of Microchip

This article examines how designers can use the Microchip reference design to include more efficient wireless charging in next-generation applications. We'll also discuss the Qi 2.0 standard in greater detail to show how it improves on the previous standard. 


Microchip Provides Ready-Made Qi Charging

The Microchip Qi 2.0 charging solution consists of two Qi 2.0 chargers, both of which are controlled by a single microcontroller. Each of these chargers targets a different power profile of the Qi 2.0 standard: the magnetic power profile (MPP) and the extended power profile (EPP).

The MPP charger uses fixed magnetic alignment to prevent human error, similar to Apple’s MagSafe solution. This makes it more useful in applications such as wearables or AR/VR headsets. The EPP charger, on the other hand, includes multiple coils to boost the maximum power available without resorting to magnetic alignment. As a result, designers can experiment and use the power profile that works best for their own applications.


The Microchip Qi 2.0 reference design

The Microchip Qi 2.0 reference design includes two pads for charging alongside a processor and peripherals to drive both chargers with sufficient power and security. Image used courtesy of Microchip

In terms of processing, the reference design uses Microchip’s dsPIC33CK, a 100-MHz, single-core digital signal controller. The reference design also provides a WPC-approved TA100/TA010 Trust Anchor secure storage system. Supporting the dsPIC, Microchip has included gate drivers, regulators, and CAN transceivers for easier integration in automotive applications.


Qi 2.0 Solves Old Qi Problems

The Qi 2.0 standard removes sources of error and field leakage to address its predecessor's efficiency and power delivery problems. In the legacy Qi standard, a misaligned device would still receive some power from a wireless transmitter, with excess power lost as heat or radiated into the environment. The fixed magnetic alignment offered as part of the Qi 2.0 standard removes this major source of error.


Qi 2.0

Compared to the Qi standard, Qi 2.0 improves performance and efficiency, magnetically locking a device in the optimal position for charging. Image used courtesy of Anker

In addition to magnetic alignment, the Qi 2.0 standard improves power delivery, communication between devices, and adaptive charging to target a wider range of devices. With increased versatility, however, comes an increased development cost to accommodate the advanced features of Qi 2.0. As a result, the Microchip reference design may help designers who want to get up and running quickly with the latest Qi standard.


Moving Power to Wireless

Though wireless charging will never be as efficient as wired charging techniques, Microchip and the WPC's developments are slated to benefit designers and consumers alike. The Qi 2.0 standard, coupled with the ability to work in new environments thanks to the Microchip reference design, may make wireless charging much more prevalent.