• Apple has reportedly internally distributed a charging pad prototype which has the A11 chip installed in it
  • The chip will help the charging pad control the heat it generates as it wirelessly charges devices
  • The A11 chip is also used in the latest iPhone generation of 2019

Apple is reportedly currently working on the AirPower’s overheating issues, and the company may have found a breakthrough. Apple could reportedly solve the issue by adding the same chip that has powered the latest iPhones into the charging mat, but this design is still just a prototype.

According to analyst Jon Prosser’s Twitter post, “C68” prototypes, which are reportedly the new AirPower charger, had been given out to Apple’s engineers. Different from the previous iterations, this prototype is loaded with the A11 Bionic chip, which powers the iPhone X. AirPower was not specifically mentioned, but the prototype matches the descriptions and features of the product.

Prosser’s tweet showcases the prototype’s form. The charging pad is oblong in shape and could be used to charge an Apple Watch. More details about the device’s location were omitted as to protect the Apple employee’s identity for the leak.

The A11 chip installed on the C68 prototype helps the charging pad manage its heat the same way it does for smartphones and smartwatches. The wireless charging mat’s overheating problem has been a major issue as this could cause damage not only to the devices placed on it, but also to the charging mat in the long run. The A11 chip helps prevent this from happening.

"Using the A11, this new prototype has the ability to route power to specific coil regions and can dynamically wait for temperatures to drop before applying more power - preventing it from overheating," Prosser said in his tweet. "The technology is kind of incredible."

Prosser also confirmed that the previous overheating problem was so bad that the charging pad “combusts” devices.

Apple previously canceled the AirPower wireless charging mat during the development stage back in March 2019, two years after first announcing it in 2017. Apple hardware engineering senior vice president Dan Riccio said that the charging mat could not meet the high standards unlike other Apple products and thus the company would be ending its development.

As of now, no major smartphone company has made a reliable and full-functioning wireless charging mat for its smartphones and other small devices.

Apple's decision to use the A11 chip for their wireless charging mat shows that it is still willing to keep up with its "high standards" for this new release. However, the A11 chip could up the charging mat's price if it does get used in the final version of the device.

Despite the breakthrough, Apple has yet to announce or even hint at the AirPower's release. But loyal Apple fans can still look forward to other releases. The upcoming Worldwide Developer’s Conference 2020 this coming June is expected to reveal details about Apple’s new device and service releases for the year.

Apple has said it will ship one million face shields a week for medical workers
Apple has said it will ship one million face shields a week for medical workers AFP / Josh Edelson