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The iPhone 8’s wireless charging tech could be much more exciting than you think

The iPhone 8 is expected to be Apple’s first iPhone that will support wireless charging. In fact, one exciting series of reports indicates the iPhone 8 will offer the kind of long-range wireless charging that hasn’t been seen in any smartphone to date. On the other hand, a fresh in-depth analysis of available wireless charging technologies has concluded that it’s not likely for Apple’s new iPhone to support long-range wireless charging technology. As a result, many believe that the iPhone will include the same run-of-the-mill wireless charging technology found in countless other smartphones.

But now a new report now indicates that Energous has developed a component that would fit into the iPhone 8 to deliver long-range wireless charging.

According to Apple Insider, Energous developed a simplified version of its WattUp wireless power transmission system, the DA4100 RF-Transmit integrated circuit. The component measures 7mm by 7mm and includes an ARM Cortex-M0+ chip, an RF transmitter, and power management functions. The part would fit inside a smartphone like the upcoming iPhone 8, the report notes.

Samples of the chip are currently shipping to customers, and it’s not known when large-scale production will begin.

Energous’ recent moves have hinted that Apple might be one of the beneficiaries of this technology. The company recently partnered with Dialog Semiconductor, whose main source of revenue is Apple — it’s believed that 70% of orders come from Apple right now. Energous said that early adopters of WattUp technology will include “most, if not all” of existing Dialog customers. As part of the deal, Dialog agreed to invest $10 million in the startup and offer Energous full access to its sales and distribution channels. Energous will sell its technology under the Dialog brand.

A few weeks ago, at CES 2017, Energous announced various products that will include WattUp long-range wireless charging support, but none of them are smartphones.

It’s unclear at this time whether the iPhone 8 will actually come with Energous tech on board. Earlier this year, a report claimed that Lite-On Semiconductor will provide half of the orders for GPP bridge rectifiers that will be used in the wireless charger in the upcoming iPhone, but that report made no mention of Energous or Dialog.

Copperfield Research made a strong case against Energous and Apple’s tie-up not long ago, suggesting that Apple will not add long-range wireless charging to the iPhone 8.