Qualcomm Quick Charge 4 offers 20% faster charging

Subject: Mobile | November 17, 2016 - 07:30 AM |
Tagged: snapdragon 835, quick charge 4, Quick Charge, qualcomm

Along with the reveal of the Snapdragon 835 today and its production on Samsung’s 10nm FinFET process technology, Qualcomm is also announcing the release of Quick Charge 4, an upgrade to the company’s successful fast charging solution that improves both efficiency and performance. Based on the information provided by Qualcomm, Quick Charge 4 will offer “premium phone users” some impressive charging rates.

  • 5 hours or more of use in 5 minutes of charging
  • 50% battery charge in 15 minutes or less

Those time metrics are based on talk time, not VR playback or gaming or browsing, meaning you can get 5 hours of additional talk time in 5 minutes of Quick Charge 4 charging time. While I think other battery life metrics (like browsing time, idle time) would provide additional context for these claims, even these numbers should impress potential buyers.

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Using an updated version of its voltage negotiation protocol INOV 3.0 (intelligent negotiation for optimal voltage), Quick Charge 4 will intelligently determine what voltages are available from the compatible charger and which voltage is the most appropriate based on temperatures and current battery state. QC 4 will offer 5V, 9V and 12V charging options at 3-5A! 

Quick Charge 4 will offer 30% higher efficiency along with the 20% faster charging and integrates support for USB Type-C connections and USB-PD support. (Which is important based on the noise Google has been making recently.) New PMICs (power management ICs) from Qualcomm, the SMB1380 and SMB1381, will be shipping this year and deliver low impedance peak efficiency of up to 95%.

And of course, no smart phone platform launch will go by for the foreseeable future that doesn’t mention safety.

In addition to providing the most consistent in-box and out-of-box charging experience, Quick Charge 4 comes with advanced safety features for both the adapter and mobile device. Protection is implemented at multiple levels and throughout the entire charging process to more accurately measure voltage, current, and temperature while protecting the battery, system, cables and connectors. An additional layer of protection is also being added to help prevent battery over-charging and regulate current throughout every charge cycle.

It’s worth noting that Quick Charge 4 won’t be limited to only the Snapdragon 835 processor, though other integrations haven’t been announced just yet. I have a feeling we will hear more at CES in January. The Quick Charge ecosystem has been steadily growing with hundreds of charging accessories and devices shipping today with QC3/QC2 and I expect that will continue with Quick Charge 4. 

Full release after the break!!

New Qualcomm Quick Charge 4 Delivers up to 20% Faster Charging, Improved Efficiency

Five Minutes of Quick Charge 4 now Delivers Five or More Hours of Smartphone Usage with new Fourth Generation Technology

NEW YORK — November 17, 2016 — Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced that its subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., has introduced the latest generation of its fast-charging technology with Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 4. Quick Charge 4 will be available with the next generation Qualcomm® Snapdragon® 835 processor. Snapdragon 835 is expected to ship in commercial devices in the first half of 2017.

Building upon Qualcomm Technologies’ existing leadership in fast charging implementations, Quick Charge 4 is designed to provide a superior charging solution by delivering faster charge times and higher efficiency than prior generations. For typical premium phone users, Quick Charge 4 is engineered to extend smartphone use by five or more hours with only five minutes of charging. Using Dual Charge, Qualcomm Technologies’ parallel charging technology, users can enjoy up to 20 percent faster charging and up to 30 percent higher efficiency compared with Quick Charge 3.0. Quick Charge 4 also integrates USB Type-C and USB-PD support, making the industry’s most popular battery charging solution available on the widest variety of cables and adapters.

“As mobile devices become more capable and feature rich, people tend to use them more. That’s why consumer demand and awareness for fast-charging solutions is now at an all-time high,” said Alex Katouzian, senior vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “Quick Charge 4 addresses that need by providing up to 50 percent battery charge in roughly 15 minutes or less, so you don’t have to spend all day chained to your charging cable.”

Quick Charge 4 features the third release of INOV (Intelligent Negotiation for Optimum Voltage), a unique power-management algorithm designed by Qualcomm Technologies. INOV now includes real-time thermal management, a technology industry first, which is designed to advance charging optimization by automatically determining and selecting the optimal power transfer level for a given thermal condition.

In addition to providing the most consistent in-box and out-of-box charging experience, Quick Charge 4 comes with advanced safety features for both the adapter and mobile device. Protection is implemented at multiple levels and throughout the entire charging process to more accurately measure voltage, current, and temperature while protecting the battery, system, cables and connectors. An additional layer of protection is also being added to help prevent battery over-charging and regulate current throughout every charge cycle.

For optimal Quick Charge 4 performance, Qualcomm Technologies is introducing the newest power management ICs (PMIC), SMB1380 and SMB1381. With low impedance, up to 95% peak efficiency, and advanced fast charging features, such as battery differential sensing, SMB1380 and SMB1381 are engineered to provide the fastest battery charging from any 5V USB Type-C or high-voltage power source while supporting ultra-thin mobile devices with a charging solution profile of less than 0.8mm. SMB1380/1 is expected to be available before the end of 2016.

Quick Charge’s rapidly growing ecosystem consists of more than 100 Quick Charge compatible mobile devices and more than 300 unique accessory products such as wall and car adapters, battery packs and docking stations. In total, over 600 million mobile devices and accessories support Quick Charge technology. This robust ecosystem allows customers to have more variety and availability as well as better prices than other fast-charging solutions that can’t offer a comparable solution.

About Qualcomm Incorporated

Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) is a world leader in 3G, 4G and next-generation wireless technologies. Qualcomm Incorporated includes Qualcomm’s licensing business, QTL, and the vast majority of its patent portfolio. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, operates, along with its subsidiaries, substantially all of Qualcomm’s engineering, research and development functions, and substantially all of its products and services businesses, including its semiconductor business, QCT. For more than 30 years, Qualcomm ideas and inventions have driven the evolution of digital communications, linking people everywhere more closely to information, entertainment and each other. For more information, visit Qualcomm’s website, OnQ blog, Twitter and Facebook pages.

Source: Qualcomm

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November 17, 2016 | 08:27 AM - Posted by willmore

Just stop already, Qualcomm. Implement USB-PD and do it well. Stop all of this supposedly 'value added' propriatary junk. There is already a standard that does all this. Use it.

Sure, up to QC 2.0, you have no valid standard competition, but now you do. QC 3.0 was a mistake. Doing a QC 4.0 now is just being petty and only serves to hurt the market.

November 17, 2016 | 09:40 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

My understanding is the QC4 is based on USB-PD, so it will support any USB-PD accessories, but also offers added intelligence and capability for devices that implement its superset of specs.

November 17, 2016 | 12:30 PM - Posted by willmore

If they're supersetting USB-PD, then that's nice, but the problem is the USB spec specifically doesn't allow that. There have been a recent series of G+ posts by Nathan K. about this.

Could this be just USB-PD + QC 3.0? My understanding is that there are already a few devices that support that. The same criticism stands for them. You can't support both and be USB complaint.

A recent change in the USB spec said that you can't be USB certified if you do things like this. It might be time to make some popcorn and see how things resolve themselves.

November 17, 2016 | 03:08 PM - Posted by adhsquirrel

Left side of brain> "I hate proprietary stuff, incompatibilities, general corparate shinanigans! Open standards FTW!"
Right side> "Pumping more amps through a usb cable and battery makes more heat. Heat kills battery and burns houses. QC which uses variable voltage is technicaly supperior and safer"
Frontal cortex> "shadup!!! I'm trying to enjoy the show!" Opens bag of popcorn.

November 17, 2016 | 09:49 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

cooking a grenade

November 17, 2016 | 11:57 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

For Sure! Those high enegry density batteries in smart phones are like having a potential rocket(rapid unscheduled disassembly) in your pocket. One little short makes for some very hot pants or worse.

Give me that quick charging on a smaller/removable battery without all that explosive enegry density!

November 17, 2016 | 02:59 PM - Posted by adhsquirrel

Shhhhhh before they ban all electronics on flights and start to charge for any form of entertainment. I'm actually amazed that they haven't yet considering its like carrying thermite around.

November 17, 2016 | 08:38 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Well the Castle Bravo thermonuclear test made use a lithium deuteride, LiD, booster and got a little more of an explosive boost than they expected! But that's a nucular and not chemical enegry release. That lithium is a very reactive element and at high altitudes maybe that extra background radiation could cause some unexpected lithium reactions, they don't ship lithium batteries on airlanes for a reason.

I'm sure glad that my smart phone has a small removable battery and If I want more time I just bring an extra battery. Those flagship phone batteries can sink a flagship when they go off, that and burn the hell out of some tender parts.

November 18, 2016 | 04:49 PM - Posted by adhsquirrel

Did they use the LiD as a tamper or does it actually interact when critical mass is reached? I only recently started to read up on that kind of stuff. Find it fascinating. Still like you pointed out lithium is highly reactive, (that's why its in batteries) and really any form of energy storage has the hazard of sudden release. Hydro dam breaking, spring grenading, crittical mass etc.

November 18, 2016 | 09:31 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

U238 tamper, and the bomb used Lithium 6 as a fusion source.

"It used partially enriched lithium as its fusion fuel. Natural lithium is a mixture of lithium-6 and lithium-7 isotopes (with 7.5% of the former). The enriched lithium used in Bravo was nominally 40% lithium-6 (the fuel slugs varied in enrichment from 37–40% in 6Li)." (1)

They where expecting that the lithium-7 would be inert and not lead to any tritium production but that expectation was in error!

The yield of 15 megatons was three times the yield of 5 Mt predicted by its designers.[1][5]:541 The cause of the higher yield was a theoretical error made by designers of the device at Los Alamos National Laboratory. They considered only the lithium-6 isotope in the lithium deuteride secondary to be reactive; the lithium-7 isotope, accounting for 60% of the lithium content, was assumed to be inert.[5]:541 It was expected that the lithium-6 isotope would absorb a neutron from the fissioning plutonium and emit an alpha particle and tritium in the process, of which the latter would then fuse with the deuterium and increase the yield in a predicted manner. Lithium-6 indeed reacted in this manner.[citation needed]

It was assumed that the lithium-7 would absorb one neutron, producing lithium-8 which decays (via beryllium-8) to a pair of alpha particles on a timescale of seconds—vastly longer than the timescale of nuclear detonation. However, when lithium-7 is bombarded with energetic neutrons, rather than simply absorbing a neutron, it captures the neutron and decays almost instantly into an alpha particle, a tritium nucleus, and another neutron. As a result, much more tritium was produced than expected, the extra tritium fusing with deuterium and producing an extra neutron. The extra neutron produced by fusion and the extra neutron released directly by lithium-7 decay produced a much larger neutron flux. The result was greatly increased fissioning of the uranium tamper and increased yield.[citation needed]

This resultant extra fuel (both lithium-6 and lithium-7) contributed greatly to the fusion reactions and neutron production and in this manner greatly increased the device's explosive output. The test used lithium with a high percentage of lithium-7 only because lithium-6 was then scarce and expensive; the later Castle Union test used almost pure lithium-6. Had sufficient lithium-6 been available, the usability of the common lithium-7 might not have been discovered.[citation needed] (1)


"Castle Bravo"


November 17, 2016 | 03:03 PM - Posted by Drazen (not verified)

I really "like" bullshit like "5h talk time". Yeah, 5m from fully empty BTS where RF power is in mW range and nothing running in background, etc.
Also battery charging, allowed as dictated by battery and we see what happens in Samsung case.

November 21, 2016 | 11:05 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I could never go back to a non-quickcharge device, it's just too darn useful.

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