Up until today there have been three major wireless charging standards. Qi, PMA, and the lesser known A4WP. Qi has been the most popular on the market and today PMA and A4WP are merging together to strengthen their new standard, the AirFuel Alliance.
PMA wireless charging has been seen on devices like the Galaxy S6 and Note 5 (which uses both PMA and Qi) as well as Duracell’s wireless charging powermats and even on certain variants of the LG G3. AT&T and Starbucks have also voiced support for that standard in the past. PMA works a bit like Qi charging in using induction for charging while A4WP falls into another category. It’s resonance based charging method hasn’t been very popular and it has yet to hit consumer devices.
With the two standards combining they hope to use their combined resources to explore other standards that could be non-magnetic. The new AirFuel Alliance has over 190 companies supporting it including Intel, Starbucks, AT&T, and many more. WPS (Qi) still has a bit more support with 224 members, but it’s good to see the competition. Samsung, MediaTek, and Qualcomm support both standards. Both the PMA and A4WP names will be retired as products come out with the AirFuel name and logo in the future.