Qualcomm wants to reclaim the title of fast charging king with the introduction of Quick Charge 5. It’s a massive jump up from QC4, it supports speeds of 100 Watts and more while keeping the battery 10°C cooler and it’s 70% more efficient to boot.
According to Qualcomm tests, a 4,500 mAh battery can be charged from 0% to 50% in just 5 minutes. A full charge of such a battery will take 15 minutes. This is in the case of a dual charging solution, which splits the battery into two 2,250 mAh cells connected in series to increase their voltage. Triple charge is also supported.
QC5 power bricks are required to support output voltages between 3.3 and 20 Volts at minimum, with 3.3 or 5 Amps of current or (for the beefier units) 5+ Amps.
Quick Charge 5 is built on top of USB Power Delivery PPS, but it extends it with backwards compatibility with QC2 and later. It can also work with standard USB PD devices as well as Apple gadgets (iPhone 7 and newer).
Qualcomm claims its system is safer than plain Power Delivery too. It features 8 levels of voltage protection, 3 levels of current protection, 3 levels of thermal protection and 3 timer protections, plus overvoltage protection at 25 V.
Also, the charge controller chips inside the phone won’t blindly trust the charger when it announces its capabilities using the PD protocol. It will measure its characteristics to determine the actual maximum current it can supply while keeping an eye on thermals.
Qualcomm expects to see Quick Charge 5 in smartphones coming in the third quarter of this year. It unveiled two charge controller chips that manufacturers can use – SMB1396 and MSB1398. They support both wired and wireless input and can be used with 1 cell and 2 cell batteries, depending on the maker’s designs for the phone (1 cell designs will be limited to 45 W charging, which is still pretty quick).
Snapdragon 865 and 865+ already support QC5, though that doesn’t mean that current phones will be able to use it (as the chipset needs to be paired with the new SMB chips).