Case study

21 September 2021

A new wireless charging system designed by the University of Udine inside Google Pixel mobile phones

Author: Ruben Specogna, CEO of EMC Gems

The University of Udine has developed a new solution able to increase the efficiency of the wireless charging system that Google will adopt for the next generation of Pixel cell phones, within one or two years. The system has been conceived, studied and developed inside the Power Electronics Lab (PEL) and the ElectroMagnetic Compatibility, advanced simulation and applied electromagnetics Lab (EMCLab) of the University of Udine, led by Professors of the Polytechnic Department of Engineering and Architecture (DPIA) Stefano Saggini and Ruben Specogna, respectively. The project was developed as part of the research dedicated to the study of new, more efficient wireless charging systems funded in 2019 at the University of Udine by Google for the equivalent of 80 thousand euros. 

A Google Pixel cell phone.

Optimization of a wireless power transfer (WPT) charging system

"The new research result - explains Prof. Saggini - is the result of two years of work that we have focused on the development of a technique for the analysis of losses of the wireless charging system for cell phones and accessories, which is certainly a convenient and reliable system, as it does not require connectors and wires that can get damaged, break or not make contact, but which nevertheless is not efficient. The efficiency limitation results in both excessive power consumption and increased charging time. From these analyses, we studied a few modifications to the wireless charging system that increased its efficiency, so Google decided to adopt it by including it in the next generation of cell phones, within a year or two."

The results of this study were greeted by Google

"with sincere gratitude for their support in researching and implementing new technologies for our future products. Through this two-year wireless charging research collaboration, the results have been excellent. Significantly improving the efficiency of wireless charging is a key area."

"The great satisfaction - underlines Prof. Saggini - is that an idea studied at the University of Udine will end up in cell phones that will be sold all over the world".

Upper row, left to right: Aldi Hoxha, Giulia Segatti, Silvano Pitassi. Lower row, left to right: Specogna Ruben, Federico Iob, Stefano Saggini, Mario Ursino.

This study is the third research project commissioned by the U.S. giant from Mountain View (California), after those that saw the electronics team from the University of Udine engaged in 2017 in the study of reducing the energy consumption of Google's data centers and in 2018 in the development of high-efficiency circuits for powering server processors, capable of reducing the energy consumption of data centers.

The old WPT receiving coil based on flexible PCB technology.
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