Whenever a technological breakthrough appears in the market, the biggest impact is usually seen on its own turf, but there are others who benefit from its arrival. By this we don’t mean that 5G was responsible for the invention of millimeter waves, but of course yes it has greatly contributed to their becoming fashionable, and at Xiaomi they have already found a way to get a lot out of it.
Millimeter waves, in addition to other internal mechanisms, thus become the basis of the new Xiaomi wireless charger. One which is a far cry from the series of Qi chargers that we have seen in the market for a long time because with it the contact charging ends (which is not exactly like that) and authentic remote wireless charging arrives. AND when we say “remote” we mean several meters and several devices at the same time.
What are millimeter waves, the basis of 5G
We said that the millimeter wave is becoming all the rage with 5G and it is so because there are two technologies associated with the fifth generation of mobile communications. The first is the famous sub-6GHz band, present both in native 5G and in the one that works with the 4G infrastructure, and the second is the millimeter wave or mmwave
To begin with, with the millimeter wave, we have electromagnetic waves which operate at around 26 GHz, a group currently in disuse both at home and abroad. This makes it ideal for coexisting with our WiFi networks as they move (for now) below the 6 GHz band (WiFi 6E). Thus, there would be no interference between our usual data connection and this new wireless charging used by Xiaomi to deliver power at real distance.
The millimeter wave can transfer a large amount of information due to its high frequency
The millimeter wave has two fundamental characteristics which carry two key qualities. The first is that they operate at a very high frequency, which gives them a great ability to transmit information, and the second is that it has a hyper-reduced wavelength, which gives it the ability to very short penetration and fades very quickly. But since it operates on virtually unused frequencies, a lot of spectrum can be used. That is, the wave is weak but a multitude of waves can be grouped together to compensate, so this “weakness” of the millimeter wave is saved.
So since we have a great capacity to transmit information and you can group together a large number of channels on the highway to hedge its volatility to some extent, 5G uses it to increase data transfer speeds as much as possible. And since the data is ultimately convertible into energy, Xiaomi uses this millimeter wave in its new charging system.
The 5W of the Mi Air Charge, 144 directional antennas
Once we know what millimeter waves are, it’s easier to understand why Xiaomi chose them for their new charging system. A system that uses a charger located on the wall and has no cables but no cell phone holder, as is the case with Qi chargers. Xiaomi reckons that its new Mi Air Charge, as it has called its wireless charging, can electrical devices several meters away. And also, logically, you can do it with several at the same time.
To achieve this, the Xiaomi Mi Air Charge wireless charger uses a system consisting of nothing more and nothing less than 144 antennas which, among other things, can emit energy in several directions because of its orientation. Thus, Xiaomi can know where the devices are located at the time of charging (phone failure) and save energy. The energy transfer becomes directional but variable, so we can move around the room and the charger will continue to send waves to the cell phone and not in other directions.
But these waves do not contain information, they are simply waves with a very precise frequency to be picked up by the mobile phone. Of course, not just any phone will do, but one that packs Mi Air Charge technology. AND this technology on the phone side
The mobile indicates where it is and the charger sends waves only in its direction thanks to its network of directional antennas
Thus, the mobile constantly says where it is thanks to its transmitting antenna, and the charger emits waves in a straight line in your direction, waves received by the receiving antennas of the telephone. So what does the phone do with these waves? Instead of converting it into information, as usual, it turns it into energy that it sends directly to the phone’s battery. Let us not forget that electromagnetic waves are, failing that, pulses and Xiaomi reconfigures the transmitters and receivers so that they do not navigate in data, but only in energy.
Xiaomi says that its Mi Air Charge, at least this original and recently presented model, is able to generate up to 5W of charge for the phone. We’d be talking about charging speeds that aren’t even seen in the wired charger market anymore (at least not new) that would produce slow charging. A charge supposed to be more beneficial for the batteries, on the other hand. Thus, Xiaomi has achieved a true 5W wireless charging that follows us even when we are on the move. Imagine a room where everything inside is loaded without doing anything. Xiaomi has succeeded. We will see which other manufacturers follow this same path.
More information | Xiaomi