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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  • philehidiot - Friday, March 3, 2017 - link

    I'm not an expert on battery tech. I know the basic structure and function but a real understanding is beyond me. I always remember the old days when I used to play with self built remote controlled cars and the batteries were able to be fast charged. It was said that you could do one fast charge for every slow one and to do otherwise would destroy the battery. In my mind therefore, fast charging has always been potentially a bad thing and indeed I've noticed my phone battery life shorten quicker on my latest one than with previous devices without the fast charging tech... Obviously there could be so many confounding variables here that it's hardly a scientific analysis.

    Can anyone explain how fast charging reduces the lifespan of the battery? I assume given that they're going on about protecting it and boasting about charge cycles that it must be an identified issue.
    Reply
  • patrik.fin - Sunday, March 5, 2017 - link

    To put it simply, fast charging generates a lot of heat and strain on the battery cells, this heat and strain create shortcircuits within the battery causing parts of it to be unusable/non-reactive and thus diminishing charging capacity. The main issue here is the liquid/gel lithium electrolyte, if the battery electrolytes were in the solid state, significantly higher currents could be supported, and order of magnitude higher charge/discharge cycles. As you stated, the problem has been identified previously, in fact since the very beginning of lithium batteries. It is an issue inherent to packed batteries with liquid/gel electrolytes, because of the phase change (liquid-solid-liquid). Reply
  • philehidiot - Sunday, March 5, 2017 - link

    Cheers, much appreciated. Reply
  • Laststop311 - Friday, March 3, 2017 - link

    i think wireless charging needs to be focused on more importantly. I would say 95%+ of people who start the day with a 100% charge do not need to recharge their phones throughout the day especially if you have a car mount you put your phone in for GPS use that charges the phone while you drive to your various locations throughout the day. So being able to just sit your phone down at night and not have to fiddle with a cable greatly increases your chances of complying with charging every night making the need for high wattage fast charging in emergency situations an extremely rare need. Let's just get wireless charging up to the same speed as max power draw from USB 2.0 charging cable. Get rid of the extra circuitry and sensors for this high speed charging and replace it with medium speed usb 2.0 wireless charging speed which can charge big 4000mah batteries in about 4 hours (bout 1 hour per 1000 mah at usb 2.0 charging speed) which is great for a wireless pad you sit it on when you go to bed. Then just upgrade the phones port to USB 3.1 gen 2 type C data transfer 10gbps and use the usb's basic power delivery for faster charging 1000 mah every 15 mins and skip all the proprietary fast charging bs to try and differentiate yourself. Differentiate yourself with usb 2.0s max charging speed into wireless charging. Reply
  • samer1970 - Friday, March 3, 2017 - link

    wireless charging is a joke ... because the base is plugged to The wall .. so what is the point ? plug the Phone instead ...

    Wireless charging is garbage to steal your money for nothing ... Just plug the cable lazy people
    Reply
  • philehidiot - Saturday, March 4, 2017 - link

    There is one advantage to wireless charging. Now they're expecting us to use the USB port for sound as well it's going to get a lot of use and potentially break faster. At least wireless charging helps reduce the repeated stress on one over used connector.

    But whilst I did like it on my palm pre, I agree it's petty stupid. Also means you can't really use it properly whilst charging.
    Reply
  • leexgx - Monday, March 6, 2017 - link

    braking the USB cable or port comes to mind (especially iphone cables very fragile) it's not a fast charge but thats not the point really its just to top it up when you're not using it Reply
  • JeffFlanagan - Monday, March 6, 2017 - link

    Your emotional problems are causing you to call useful tech a "joke" and "garbage."
    Maybe look into your underlying issues before going out in public.
    Reply
  • Ro_Ja - Saturday, March 4, 2017 - link

    It's a nice step of technology!

    People will soon realize that fast charging is the way to go. I hope there's customization with how long the battery charges too.
    Reply
  • dini9600 - Friday, May 26, 2017 - link

    How much is the cost and can it be supported for 1+3t ......pls send the details to dannipani@gmai.com with pleasure Reply

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