Wireless Charging Company Energous Partners With Apple Supplier Dialog

Apple supplier Dialog Semiconductor recently made a $10 million investment in Energous, a company that's developing long-range wireless charging techniques and has been rumored to be working with Apple in the past, reports Fast Company.

According to Energous CEO Steve Rizzone, going forward, all Energous technology will be sold under the Dialog brand. Dialog makes power management chips and is said to get as much as three quarters of its business from Apple.


Energous has developed WattUp, an emerging wireless charging technology that uses radio frequencies to charge devices from up to 15 feet away. There's been no concrete proof that Energous has partnered with Apple in any way, but in 2015, Energous inked a deal with an unnamed consumer electronics company, and speculation has suggested it could be Apple.

The deal between Energous and known Apple supplier Dialog doesn't add any further evidence towards rumors of a partnership between Apple and Energous, but as Fast Company points out, Dialog's resources would make such a partnership more viable. Through Dialog, Energous now has access to Apple, knowledge of how Apple's supply chain works, and an inside edge on how to establish a deal with the Cupertino company.

But if Energous were trying to get into a position to supply technology to Apple, it couldn't have made a better move than tucking itself under Dialog's wing. [...]

On its own, Energous is probably too small to be an Apple supplier. Apple suppliers have to be large enough to reliably supply parts at Apple's huge scale. Dialog obviously already has that capacity. With the Energous technology basically being folded into the Dialog structure, all of a sudden Energous has it too.

Rumors suggest Apple is planning to integrate some kind of long-range wireless charging technology into the iPhone 8, set to be released in 2017. Long-range wireless charging is superior to many existing wireless charging methods because it does not require devices to be close to a charging source or mat, but there are also challenges to overcome.

With long-range charging, there's a loss of power transfer efficiency that occurs as the distance between the transmitter and the receiver is increased. That means devices charge more slowly when they're further away, and Apple is said to be aiming to overcome that limitation.

Apple has been hiring engineers with expertise in wireless charging, testing wireless charging modules, and has been seeking a supplier for wireless charging chips, all hints that point towards the imminent implementation of wireless charging. Still, it remains unknown how wireless charging will be implemented and whether Apple will partner up with a company like Energous to implement the feature.

Energous' CEO says the company's technology should be ready to start shipping out in real world products starting in the second quarter of 2017, but he did not comment on whether the partnership with Dialog was made in an attempt to secure some kind of deal with Apple.

Top Rated Comments

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49 months ago
Currently wireless charging is charging on a mat. I'd like to hope that if Apple introduce wireless charging, it will be truly wireless, rather than a gimmick.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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49 months ago
You should all see this:
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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49 months ago
Excellent news.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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49 months ago
Game changer.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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49 months ago
I'd love to see how they overcome the distance problem. The inverse square law is pretty hard to beat considering it is a fundamental physical property of the universe we live in, and also the reason the signal strength reduces drastically the farther you get away from the source.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
49 months ago

Even if someone develops "truly wireless" charging, there has to be a limited range or a leash/tether to it. Otherwise you'd be bombarded by electromagnetic radiation coming from not only yours, but everyone else's, wireless chargers. That can't be healthy.

We're already being bombarded by electromagnetic radiation. Not only do our electronics emit them (wifi, radio, cell radio, bluetooth, tv, av receiver, speakers, anything with an electric current in general, etc.) but so does anything involving combustion (your car engine, your grill, stars) and even your own body. Low energy radiation is absolutely everywhere and has been for as long life has existed on this planet. We've evolved to get along fine with it. The only real danger is if the waves are highly concentrated like in a microwave oven or a giant radio wave transmitter. They won't give you cancer but they'll cook you alive. And for the record, I highly doubt Apple, or any company for that matter, would back a technology that literally cooks its users. I'm pretty sure that would END them as a company.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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