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Qualcomm eyes speedier smartphone recharging

The chipmaker's Quick Charge 3.0 technology not only improves battery cell life but allows for rapid charging.

Qualcomm's logo is seen at its booth at the Global Mobile Internet Conference
Qualcomm says Quick Charge 3.0 can charge a typical smartphone from zero to 80 percent in only 35 minutes. REUTERS/Corbis

Qualcomm on Tuesday introduced Quick Charge 3.0, saying the latest version of its rapid-charging technology should start showing up in new mobile devices next year.

Touted as up to 38 percent more efficient than its predecessor, the US chipmaker said the next-generation technology is the first of its kind to employ Intelligent Negotiation for Optimum Voltage. INOV is a new algorithm developed by the San Diego-based company that determines the best power levels for a charger to release, thereby improving efficiency and reducing power loss and the risk of overheating. As a result, the new version of Quick Charge can power up a typical smartphone from no juice to 80 percent in roughly 35 minutes.

Battery life, or a lack thereof, is a common problem with mobile devices. While device makers like Apple and Samsung tend to focus on making batteries last longer, other companies are trying to find ways to recharge them quicker. Israeli company StoreDot showed off one of its rapid-charge batteries at the Mobile World Congress trade show in March. The company hopes to get a 1,500mAh battery to charge in one minute by the end of the year. Qualcomm also pointed out that Quick Charge 3.0 will work with new USB Type-C cables, which can charge devices faster thanks to a higher power output.

Qualcomm said Quick Charge 3.0 has also been refined to improve battery cycle life, giving devices a longer run before batteries need to be replaced. The new charging technology will be an option for devices powered by some Qualcomm Snapdragon processors, including the Snapdragon 820, 620, 618, 617 and 430. (Qualcomm provided a full list here). The chipmaker said Quick Charge 3.0 should appear in mobile devices launched next year.

Quick Charge 3.0 is also backwards-compatible with previous versions and connectors.

Alex Katouzian, senior vice president of product management at Qualcomm, commented:

"We are significantly enhancing the capabilities and benefits offered by Quick Charge 3.0 to bring robust fast charging technology to all.

Quick Charge 3.0 addresses a primary consumer challenge with today's mobile devices in helping users restore battery life quickly and efficiently, and does so through leading technology and a robust ecosystem including leading device and accessory OEMs."

This story originally posted as "Your next smartphone may charge from zero to 80 percent in 35 minutes" on ZDNet.