Over-the-air RF wireless power transmitter for homes

Powercast has unveiled its Ubiquity transmitter, an ultra-low-cost RF power transmitter for homes.

Designed to be economical, Powercast claims that it has lowered the barrier to entry where RF wireless power can actually become ubiquitous with multiple RF transmitters covering every home.

Ubiquity automatically charges multiple RF-enabled devices in its charging zone - no charging mats needed - for convenient, contactless, 'set it and forget it' wireless charging.

The module contains all the electronics and hardware needed for manufacturers to turn their own products - like home appliances, TVs, game systems, computer monitors or AI-enabled home assistants - into Ubiquity transmitters able to both charge and communicate with devices in a home. A licensable reference design is also available to embed just the electronics needed on the manufacturers' own circuit boards.

The ultra-small RF transmitter can be used to charge multiple RF-enabled low-power devices over the air and is seen as enabling a fundamental change in the way home charging works, eliminating wires and batteries, especially in those areas that are exposed to water such as the bathroom and kitchen.

Powercast's over-the-air wireless power architecture has two sides: a transmitter that sends RF over the air, and a receiver embedded in end devices that then harvests RF from the air and converts it into DC (direct current) to both communicate data, and power devices.

On the transmitter side, Powercast's Ubiquity will come in several forms, all able to both charge RF-enabled devices and communicate data back and forth throughout a home.

An easy-to-integrate, drop-in embeddable module contains all the electronics and hardware needed. Manufacturers will need to add a power supply and antenna and Powercast will work with manufacturers on an antenna design that best fits their specific product size.

On the receiving side, manufacturers can embed Powercast's Powerharvester PCC110 receiver chip and a small antenna into their end devices – using either Powercast's standalone Ubiquity, or RF-transmitting products created using the Ubiquity embeddable module or reference design.

This wireless power-over-distance architecture is suitable for charging low-power devices with continuous, reliable, background trickle charging.

End device examples include TV remotes, electric toothbrushes, keyboards and mice, game controllers, earbuds, headphones, smart watches, fitness bands, hearing aids, clocks, electric shavers, and other home automation devices.

The Ubiquity transmitter can output up to 1W (3W EIRP) and automatically charges multiple RF-enabled devices that come into its charging zone.

The licensable Ubiquity reference design is expected in February 2023.  The Ubiquity module and transmitter are expected in June 2023.