Samsung pushes power savings in its chargers

June 05, 2020 //By Nick Flaherty
Samsung has used software to reduce the standby power of over 540m chargers shipped around the world
Samsung has used software to reduce the standby power of over 540m chargers shipped around the world

Standby power consumption in smart device chargers is considered to be a major contributor to the pressing problem of power waste.

Samsung has been reducing the standby power consumption of its chargers using software, starting with the flagship Galaxy chargers which were reduced to 20mW in 2012. Since then, Samsung has been moving the technology into the chargers for devices throughout its product range.

“In order to supply a smartphone with power as soon as it’s connected, a charger must always be ‘running,’” said Wonseok Kang, an engineer in Samsung’s Mobile Communications Business’s Power Solution Group. “In the past, we simply kept the charger running without regulation. Now, we’ve packed software into the charger that puts it to sleep when a device is unplugged – reducing power consumption to a more environmentally conscious voltage level – and wakes the charger up when a device is connected. It’s an energy-efficient cycle of sorts.”

Like standby power consumption, charging efficiency is a key determinant of just how environmentally conscious a charging technology will be. Galaxy smartphones’ chargers have an energy efficiency rating of over 80 percent, which meets the European Union’s standard for Level VI ErP (Energy-Related Products) certification.

This efficiency level highlights Samsung's use of silicon rather than wide bandgap technology such as gallium nitride which can achieve efficiency levels over 95 percent with higher power levels up to 60 or 100W - GaN CHIPS BOOST POWER SUPPLY DESIGN TO 75W

However there are new techniques such as active switching to boost silicon performance:  ACTIVE SWITCHING AC-DC CONTROLLER USES SILICON OVER GaN , especially with the vlumes that Samsung ships (see below).

As a result, Samsung's developers went to great lengths to enhance the energy efficiency of its chargers, analyzing even the tiniest of components in an effort to maximize functionality. “We focused mainly on improving the circuits of the semiconductors that are used

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