Qualcomm Intros Hi-Speed Charging Tech, But Lays Off 1,300
Amid company layoffs, Qualcomm is rolling out its next-generation of fast-charging technology. Dubbed Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0, the third-generation product is the industry’s first to employ Intelligent Negotiation for Optimum Voltage (INOV).
INOV is a new algorithm Qualcomm Technologies developed that lets portable devices determine what power level to request at any point in time to simultaneously optimize power transfer and maximize efficiency.
The result: Quick Charge 3.0 lets you charge a typical smartphone from zero to 80 percent in about 35 minutes. Most conventional mobile devices without Quick Charge take nearly 90 minutes to accomplish the same charge level.
Lighting Fast Charging
“Quick Charge 3.0 addresses a primary consumer challenge with today’s mobile devices in helping users restore battery life quickly and efficiently,” said Alex Katouzian, senior vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, in a statement. The challenge is undeniable and Qualcomm is convinced that its INOV and other advances that make Quick Charge 3.0 up to 38 percent faster than its predecessor will resonate with the market.
And it’s not just the charging time that’s making Qualcomm so confident. Quick Charge 3.0 also offers safeguards to protect the battery cycle life. When you use it with Qualcomm’s latest advanced charging configurations, the technology also helps improve fast-charging up to 27 percent or reduces power dissipation by up to 45 percent when compared to Quick Charge 2.0 -- and it charges twice as fast as Quick Charge 1.0.
If you're looking for forward and backward compatibility with previous Quick Charge versions -- as well as with connectors, including USB Type-C with the same ultra-fast charging speed, cable independence, and UL certification to help meet quality and safety standards -- this technology has you covered.
Quick Charge 3.0 will be featured as an option on select Qualcomm Snapdragon processors, including Snapdragon 820, 620, 618, 617 and 430. The company said it expects its technology to start showing up in mobile devices that launch next year.
We caught up with Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, to get his thoughts on the new technology -- and the layoffs that will see 1,314 full-time employees in San Diego separate from the company.
“Qualcomm's new Quick Charge 3.0 represents a notable advance over previous generation versions of the technology, and is significantly faster than conventional charging technologies,” King told us. “As such, it should measurably improve the value proposition Qualcomm offers to smartphone OEMs and other manufacturers. In rapidly evolving wireless device markets, Quick Charge 3.0 could make a real competitive difference.”
However, the announcement comes at a difficult time for the company, given the layoffs, he added. Though the job cuts are part of a larger planned 15 percent headcount reduction that Qualcomm announced in July, such processes are never easy and they are especially painful for the affected workers, he said. However, Qualcomm is in the middle of a difficult restructuring process related to slowing sales in mature smartphone markets worldwide, King said.
“Qualcomm's CEO has noted that the company is attempting to ‘pivot’ to pursue opportunities in high return areas like data center, small cell and Internet of Things verticals,” he added. “But whether that will be enough to get the company back on track is impossible to say at this point.”