MediaTek unveils Pump Express 3.0, a fast charging platform for smartphones

“The solution can charge a smartphone battery from zero to 70 percent in 20 minutes”

With more and more OEMs favouring fast charging technologies, any breakthrough from chipset manufacturers is an impetus towards better power consumption in smartphones. Keeping this in mind, MediaTek recently took the covers off its Pump Express 3.0 – touted to be the fastest battery charging technology till date.

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The Pump Express 3.0 is MediaTek’s take on contemporaries such as Qualcomm’s Quick Charge platform, and boasts of charging a smartphone battery from zero to 70 percent in under 20 minutes. The company even claims that charging the phone for five minutes can juice up the phone for four hours of talk time on 3G. 

The solution is also notable for enabling direct charge through USB Type-C – a first in the world. Direct charging the device bypasses the charging circuitry within the device and prevents it from overheating. The electrical current is routed directly to the battery from the adapter.

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Besides the obvious USP coming in the form of enhanced charging prowess, the Pump Express 3.0 also comes with safety features – including bi-directional communication to adjust voltage levels, device / charger overheating avoidance mechanisms and 20 safety and device protection systems built in. This feat has been achieved through MediaTek’s recent acquisition of Richtek, a firm that works to avoid overheating.

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Phones already enabled with the older iteration of Pump Express Technology include the likes of the Gionee E8 (review), Gionee Marathon M5 and MEIZU MX5 (review). No special cables are needed, and Pump Express enabled phones are compatible with existing chargers. But fast charging would require a Pump Express-enabled charger.

The company states that mass production of Pump Express 3.0 is scheduled for Q3, 2016. The first target chipset will be the Helio P20 processor. Notably, OPPO’s upcoming Super VOOC fast charging claims to fully charge a 2,500mAh battery in about 15 minutes, and we’ve seen a demo of that in action with our own eyes. So we’d have to wait for these technologies to be available commercially before we can pronounce a winner.

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