First Qi Wireless Charging Equipped Car Hits Market as Toyota 2013 Avalon Limited Offers Technology by ConvenientPower and Philips Lite-On Digital Solutions


toyota avalon (select to view enlarged photo)

SAN FRANCISCO--December 19, 2012: ConvenientPower and PLDS today announced the launch of wireless charging technology into the automotive market as the Toyota 2013 Avalon Limited debuts in the United States. The Toyota Avalon Limited will be the first car available in the world that offers in-console Qi wireless charging for Qi -- enabled mobile phones and devices as part of a Technology Package.

“We are excited with the accelerated rollout of wireless charging technology through our automotive sector partnership with PLDS.”

Qi is the global standard for wireless power and charging. With Qi, devices are charged just by placing them on, or near, any Qi-enabled surface. Any Qi-enabled device works with any Qi charger, regardless of brand or manufacturer, making charging simple and convenient.

"Pioneering the ability to charge with no wires, no connectors by simply dropping devices in the car console is a simplicity which reflects Toyota's continuing innovation to improve the consumer experience. We see wireless charging as an important feature that helps enhance the high technology theme and consumer interface offered by Avalon Limited which is already equipped with three TFT color screens and Intellitouch controls," said Randy Stephens, Chief Engineer of Avalon.

Part of Avalon Limited's Technology Package and integrated by DENSO, the wireless charging technology by ConvenientPower and PLDS marks a new milestone in advancing the technology beyond consumer electronics into new infrastructure such as cars in the market.

"Wireless battery charging is more than just replacing the power supply. As wireless charging is integrated into more and more devices, a new ecosystem of compatible and connector-free charging areas become compelling for a uniquely seamless user experience in infotainment. Cars are a new and progressive dimension in such wireless ecosystems," said Camille Tang, President, ConvenientPower. "We are excited with the accelerated rollout of wireless charging technology through our automotive sector partnership with PLDS."

PLDS with their broad and long-lasting experience in the automotive business have co-worked with ConvenientPower to implement the latest and most reliable wireless charging technology into the automotive environment.

"We have succeeded in bringing wireless charging technology up to automotive speed," said Stefan Graf, Director Marketing & New Technology at PLDS. "After having invested much effort in order to develop a module that fulfills the automotive specifications such as EMC, temperature, and stress tests we are proud to contribute to the first wireless charging in-line product on the market."

Car production worldwide is projected to be 80 million units in 2012, growing 11% from 2011*. Toyota's new flagship sedan, the 2013 Avalon, is expected to sell about 70,000 units in its first year.

Qi wireless charging is now in 32 mobile phones worldwide -- Qi integrated, Qi ready, including recent launches of the LG Google Nexus 4, Nokia Lumia 920, HTC Windows Phone 8X. Qi-certified products range from smartphones to charging pads, gaming controllers, Blu-ray Disc recorders, smartphone docking speakers, automobile phone chargers, alarm clocks and battery packs, to charging modules that can be installed in tabletops and furniture.

The wireless power market is growing rapidly, with a projected 58 percent CAGR from US $457 million in 2011 to US $7.161 billion in 2017.1

Automotive-Optimized, Qi-Compatible

ConvenientPower and PLDS introduced the first 'freedom of positioning' wireless charging automotive module in January 2012. Technology features making their design particularly suited for the car environment are:

  • Robust reliable charging -- Freedom of positioning allows a device to reliably charge regardless of the position, direction in which the device is placed -- particularly important in the car environment with vibration, jolts and motion.
  • Energy efficiency -- Qi power efficiency is typically 70% in contrast to solutions where efficiency can be lower than 40% depending on the distance of the power transfer. With longer transmission distances, efficiency can drop significantly. To maintain acceptable charging rates at longer distances, more power must be supplied. This becomes an issue in automobiles, where even small additional power consumption can negatively impact fuel efficiency.
  • Safety -- Innovative Foreign Object Detection works with any power receiver to cease charging if metal objects like paper clips, coins and foil wrappers are detected as a safety hazard.
  • Universal charging, Qi backwards compatibility -- The ability to charge a wide range of devices regardless of brand, manufacturer or type of device is key for infrastructure like cars where diversity of user devices is high and backwards compatibility of the Qi standard maintains seamless charging experiences even as the Qi standard evolves and innovates.

About ConvenientPower

ConvenientPower is a global leader and innovator in wireless power charging intellectual property and productization. It co-architected "Qi," the world's universal standard for compatible wireless charging, co-founded the industry's Wireless Power Consortium and has been pioneering the world's first Qi wireless power products with partners in key markets of the USA, Japan, China and Europe. ConvenientPower Group is headquartered in Hong Kong.

About PLDS

Philips & Lite-On Digital Solutions (PLDS) is one of the world's leading companies for automotive infotainment, supplying CD and DVD drives as well as so-called virtual CD changers for car radios, navigation systems, rear seat entertainment systems and multimedia units in the vehicle. PLDS can look back on more than five decades of experience in the automotive infotainment industry. Today, Business Unit Automotive of the joint venture Philips & Lite-On Digital Solutions has more than 800 employees worldwide and supports customers at several subsidiaries throughout the globe, with a powerful Research & Development Center in Germany. Following the success of optical disc drive production PLDS has been developing and manufacturing new products in the areas of automotive wireless charging, car-connectivity, and head up displays.

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