Meizu unveiled a new fast-charging technology—called Super mCharge—at MWC 2017 that’s capable of fully charging a 3000 mAh battery in just 20 minutes. Rapid charging has grown from novelty to highly desirable feature in a short period of time, with it being particularly popular in China, Meizu’s home market.

Great Scott!

While not powerful enough to send a DeLorean back to the future, the 55W rating for Super mCharge (11V, 5A) is significantly higher than anything we’ve yet seen. For comparison, Motorola’s TurboPower is rated for 28.5W, and Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 hits 18W.

Meizu is using a charge pump, a type of DC to DC converter that uses an external circuit to control the connection of capacitors to the input voltage. By disconnecting the capacitor from the source via a switch and reconfiguring the circuit with additional switches, the charge pump’s output voltage can be raised or lowered relative to the input. Keeping the capacitors small and the switching frequency high improves efficiency. Meizu is claiming 98% efficiency for its design, and while charge pumps are known for high efficiency, this seems a little high at first glance.

For Super mCharge, Meizu is dividing the input voltage in half, which doubles the output current. To accommodate the current increase, Meizu is pairing its new fast-charging circuit with a new lithium-based 3000 mAh battery made with “advanced manufacturing processes” that can handle 4x the current of previous batteries. This new battery is said to retain 80% of its original charge capacity after 800 complete charge cycles, where a charge cycle is defined as any possible sequence that ultimately goes from 100% to 0% to 100%. This rating is actually at the high end of the scale, with most fast-charging methods rated for 500 cycles or a little more. Battery life is likely improved by keeping temperature in check; Meizu claims that battery temperature does not exceed 38 °C (100 °F), a full 6 °C less than a competing solution in its testing.

Super mCharge includes voltage, current, and temperature monitoring for battery health and safety. Because the USB Type-C cable conducts more than 3A of current, it includes an E-mark IC (electronically marked safety chip) on one connector.

Meizu did not say when we’ll see Super mCharge in a shipping device, but I would not be surprised to see it later this year.

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  • grant3 - Thursday, March 2, 2017 - link

    Your phone takes 3 minutes to start up? Yikes.

    I think the original comment was implying that slow-charging was acceptable for an *inactive* phone, i.e., the screen is off.
    Reply
  • sc14s - Saturday, March 4, 2017 - link

    my Galaxy s7 takes a decent amount, probably about a minute due to encryption but i very rarely turn off the phone in the first place, i usually restart it about once a week or so is the only real reason it has to go through that process. Reply
  • sorten - Thursday, March 2, 2017 - link

    You don't need to turn off your phone to charge it :-) Reply
  • jimbo2779 - Friday, March 3, 2017 - link

    It's been a long time since I had a phone that would stay switched off when it is plugged in. All of my recent phones have turned themselves on as soon as plugged in. Reply
  • MrSpadge - Friday, March 3, 2017 - link

    > All this things are made to kill your devices faster

    Sure, that's why they've invested so much engineering into reaching those 800 load/unload cycles for 20% capacity degradation.
    Reply
  • Sttm - Friday, March 3, 2017 - link

    I only need the device to last 2 years tops, so I'll take that 20 minute full charge. Reply
  • Krysto - Monday, March 6, 2017 - link

    Yeah, I think Android itself needs to start presenting you with an option for "Normal Charging" and "Quick Charging" when you plug it in and when it recognizes quick charging capabilities.

    Quick charging should only be used in "emergency" situations, so the default should always be normal charging.
    Reply
  • zodiacfml - Friday, March 3, 2017 - link

    Nothing in the article mentioned the size of the charger. I saw one photo show its relative size and the charger is larger than my laptop charger.

    I doubt they will start using the tech though as I mentioned above. One Plus has a good implementation already and it's pretty fast for many people
    Reply
  • T1beriu - Friday, March 3, 2017 - link

    By using the A4 paper size as a reference I can guesstimate the size is around 7x6 cm. Reply
  • Guspaz - Friday, March 3, 2017 - link

    Why are they introducing yet another proprietary quick-charge protocol when USB itself supports up to 100W of power over a USB-C cable using USB Power Delivery? Reply

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