Wireless charging’s convenience is unmatched, but the fastest way to power up remains through a cable. Qualcomm today is announcing Quick Charge 5 with a slew of speed and safety enhancements.

Qualcomm says that Quick Charge 5 is the “first commercially viable” fast charging solution that supports over 100W and is available for phone makers to use today. It’s emphasizing broader availability for many manufacturers over competing, single-OEM offerings.

The key, touted capability is charging a 4,500mAh battery from 0 to 50% in five minutes, with a full top-up in 15 minutes. Compared to Quick Charge 4, it’s 70% more power efficient, or four times faster. That’s 10x more power delivery compared to its inaugural fast charging tech from 2013.

There is support for 2S (stacked) batteries and 20 Volts of power delivery. The company is releasing new power management ICs with the Qualcomm SMB1396 and SMB1398. With that amount of power running, there are a number of “extreme safety measures.”

Quick Charge 5 incorporates 12 separate voltage, current and temperature protections, including USB-input overvoltage protection at 25V and external power controls beyond 30V. It also runs 10 degrees Celsius cooler than Quick Charge 4. 

A key measure is Qualcomm’s new “Smart Identification of Adapter Capabilities.” This will monitor and verify the actual — instead of just trusting — limits of a connected charger to adjust current, power, and voltage behavior. There are also various levels of protection in regards to voltage, current, thermal, and timer at the handset-level.

In terms of ecosystem support, Quick Charge 5 is backwards compatible with version 2.0, 3.0, 4, and 4+, with the chart below explaining the permutations. Qualcomm notes how it also takes advantage of both USB-PD and Type-C. These QC5 charging bricks will also work with laptops and other form factors.

Quick Charge 5 is supported by the Snapdragon 865 and 865 Plus, as well as “future premium-and high-tier Snapdragon mobile platforms.” Xiaomi will be one of the first partners to leverage the technology in the coming months.

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Abner Li

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