Tech

Qualcomm Announces “Quick Charge 5” Leaping to 100W+

By Bill Toulas / July 28, 2020

Qualcomm Technologies has just announced the fifth generation of Quick Charge, taking the total charging power to over a hundred watts and leaving all previous generations far behind. This comes only a couple of weeks after Oppo presented its own 125W solution, so it’s clear that we are entering a new era in fast charging.

In fact, Qualcomm was very quick to answer the Chinese, denoting that they were close to releasing this tech, or they had it developed already and kept it locked in their drawers until the right time came.

quick_charge

Source: Qualcomm

Whatever the case, the numbers make up for an impressive leap from QC4, which was an almost disappointing upgrade to QC3. QC5 is ten times faster compared to the first iteration of the tech, and four times faster than QC4.

We have never seen a generation making such a huge jump ahead. Qualcomm says a typical 4,500 mAh battery can now be charged from 0% to 50% in five minutes, and from 0% to 100% in 15 minutes. The voltage of QC5 chargers will range between 3.3V and 20V, while the amperage will play between 3A and 6.3A.

qc_quickcharge5_infographic_final_v2

Source: Qualcomm

All this power will come with additional protection systems like a thermal management unit that will deploy more sensors placed in various positions, keeping the battery temperature below 40 °C at all times. This is a lot cooler than QC3 and QC4, but how exactly is Qualcomm achieving to deliver more power while keeping the heat in check? The answer is via double (current) and triple (future) charging channels that operate simultaneously to charge individual but linked battery cells.

This is also what Oppo did to achieve the impressive 125W figures, using three parallel charge pumps to reach an energy conversion efficiency of up to 98%. The higher this percentage, the less runaway heat you have to deal with, and so the charging process is generally cooler.

qc5_compatibility

Source: Qualcomm

However, this also means that current smartphone models, even those sporting the compatible 865 and 865+, can’t use Quick Charge 5. For this to happen, smartphone makers will have to release models with segmented battery cells and the new SMB1398 PMIC.

Qualcomm estimates that the first devices supporting QC5 will come out in Q3 2020, so we’re practically talking about models that are just around the corner. As for compatibility, USB-C, USB-PD, and all previous generations of Quick Charge will be compatible with the new tech, although the charging speeds will obviously vary.

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