Mister Beacon Episode #173
Innovations in Wireless Charging with AirFuelMay 02, 2023
One of the keys to scaling ambient IoT is eliminating batteries and wires.
In this week’s Mr. Beacon, we explore the latest innovations in wireless charging technology as I’m joined by <iframe allow="autoplay *; encrypted-media *; fullscreen *; clipboard-write" frameborder="0" height="175" style="width:100%;max-width:660px;overflow:hidden;border-radius:10px;" sandbox="allow-forms allow-popups allow-same-origin allow-scripts allow-storage-access-by-user-activation allow-top-navigation-by-user-activation" src=""></iframe>, president of the AirFuel Alliance, who shares his expertise and insights into the cutting-edge advancements in wireless device charging.
Dr. Gupta explains how new technologies are helping to improve wireless charging for a variety of devices and applications. He also discusses the many benefits of wireless charging for IoT devices, which have traditionally relied on batteries that need to be replaced every six months [or so]. With wirelessly chargeable batteries, the environmental impact of these devices can be greatly reduced, making them more sustainable and eco-friendly.
Throughout the video, we see examples of the latest wireless charging solutions and learn how they work. From wireless charging pads to advanced inductive charging systems, the exciting possibilities of this rapidly evolving technology are endless.
If you're interested in the future of wireless charging and the potential it holds for transforming the way we power our devices, this video is a must-watch. Join us as we explore the cutting-edge of wireless charging technology and learn how it is helping to create a more sustainable, connected world.
Making Music -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...(Zakir_Hussain_album). You have to listen to the full album really since it kind of builds up. Here is an interesting piece. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2g2Gjh9Rxys
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Steve Statler 00:00
Welcome to the Mr. Beacon podcast this week, we've got Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who is the president of the air fuel Alliance on the show. Wireless Power is a fascinating area, and it's a really important area. Sanjay is going to be demystifying How it works is 1d, 2d, 3d wireless power, you'll get to understand a bit about that. Who's doing what in in that space, we'll talk about some of the use cases, I think you're going to find this really interesting. And listed beacon ambient IoT podcast is sponsored by William, bringing intelligence to every single thing. Well, Sanjay, thanks so much for joining us on
Dr. Sanjay Gupta 00:51
the podcast. My pleasure. Glad to be here.
Steve Statler 00:55
So you are president of the air fuel Alliance. And I really believe in this work that you're you and your members are pioneering wireless power is obviously something that relates to my my day job, but what you're doing is, is much broader than than what my company does. So tell us, what is the airfuel? Alliance? Yeah, so
the first thing to remember is airfuel. Alliance is a standards body, right? We are a not for profit, we are not a company who was in it to make money, we are at the end, a collection of companies who have a shared belief and a passion at the end for wireless power. Right? We need to eliminate the world of these cables to charge everything right. You know, anything that has a battery probably needs a wire at some point in time or swap batteries, right? So we need to get, get the world rid of the wires around us and make us free. So that's what the members of air fuel at the end are all passionate about and committed to what are
Steve Statler 02:13
the benefits of doing that? Obviously, it's kind of cool. Sending power through the air. But why is it important?
Well, that's so you know, I think, just think about the consumer experience today. If you look at my, if I open up my bag, and you know, there are benefits at every different level, by the way, right. But let's think of the one that if I opened my bag, I have a charger for my phone, my laptop, my earbuds, everything covered its own charge, right? Do I really need all these wires to charge everything? Do I need any wires? Right? Why can't I deceive power? Very much like I get my data and my communications. Right. You know, nobody uses ethernet cables anymore. I think we've all realized wireless communication is way better. So, you know, from a consumer perspective, yeah, let's get rid of all of these wires, there is an advantage. I'm I'm a little you know, our frequent loves organization, I can't work if my desk is dirty. And I'm always looking to organize wires on my desk, why do I need any of these wires on my desk? Why couldn't I charge everything that's on my desk? From something far away, maybe something underneath the desk completely hidden? Right? So that's kind of one side. But let's also think about the world that is a little bit closer to you, right? You know, we have these IoT devices and so on. devices that have batteries in them small, you can't even find them. But they all use small amounts of power, but they still need batteries swapped in them every six months, a year maybe. And imagine how many of those end up in a landfill every year. Right? What do you have to do? To deliver power to these devices so that we can build them without batteries, and they can last? As long as our silicon chips will last? Probably decades. Right? So and you know, I could go on and on about the benefits. There's something that's a little bit was a discovery for me, by the way was, hey, wireless power is not efficient, and it's not eco friendly or green in a in a very loose way. And I realized once I started digging in, that actually wireless power is very green. In fact, what wireless power does you know today if you look, a couple of billion chargers end up in a landfill every device you buy comes with a charger comes with a cable. There aren't disposables at the end, right. They all end up in the landfill. How we are going to get rid of all of this is not is taking something which is a disposable and making it into an infrastructure, right? Something that can last 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, wireless power allows you to do that. Right at the end, one charger can charge multiple devices, it's kind of built into your furniture built into your home kind of just is part of the infrastructure that we all depend on. Right? That's how we eliminate a lot of the waste that's happening. And maybe the world gets all hung up about maybe wireless power is maybe one or two percentage points less efficient than using a cable, who cares? Right? That's not the big thing. The big thing is all the waste that we are creating, by the way?
Steve Statler 05:41
Yeah, I think that's a great reason. So I'm, I'm into the kind of aesthetics. So there's definitely that there's flexibility, there's lower in in cost, the sustainability. And I believe there's just whole new use cases, really important ones that can allow computing to become ambient. It can go from billions to trillions of things and make, you know, just saving a few pennies on something that costs a few pennies can be the difference between a use case that works and doesn't work and, and absolutely, so many things that we can do. That will reduce all sorts of waste and crime and climate impact. So I think you're doing the good work. So I interrupted you and you were talking about the air fuel Alliance. But hopefully we've made the case for why what the fuel alliance is doing is important.
Yeah, yeah. No, no, thank you. And no, it was a good good little segue. Yeah, and you know, so airfuel. Alliance is, is a global organization. We have members globally, all parts of what I would say the ecosystem participate in it. And our primary job is to write the technical specifications. So that when people do the implementations, they can work with each other. Right? In the wireless world, unfortunately, we always have a chicken and an egg problem, right? You don't have the, the investments needed to make a technology scale up happen if people can't believe the transmitters and the receivers can work together. Right. And by the very nature, you're gonna have a multi vendor environment. So you want to make sure you have specifications that the industry as a whole believes in and trust and are willing to say, yes, we will build implementations. Now it's good for everybody, right? You know, there's a myopic view that says, Why should I be working with my competition actually helps grow the pie for everybody. So that's the first thing, the next thing that we do, which is making sure that when we write the technical specifications that we all believe are interoperable, we can certify them that they are interoperable at the end, right. So this gives the trust to the consumers in the market at large that the products, how are proven to work together, they've been tested, and then work together. So that's the primary job of air fuel. The other aspect that we do, which is always very important, also is market and promote the technologies, right in a new when you're bringing new technology to market and something as new and different and disruptive as wireless power. There's a lot of skeptics, right, there's a lot of you need to answer some tough questions, right? Is this thing going to be safe, for example? Right? And so airfuel, Alliance kind of works with the regulatory bodies, but also educates the larger community and the industry about all of these different topics that are relevant, and making sure everybody understands the true state of development and what is realistic to do and so on. Right. So, you know, I think that's the other aspect, which is also important to accelerate the adoption of the technology. Right? So So I think those are the two big functions that airfuel Alliance and its members do. So you
Steve Statler 09:35
can really help this technology scale by making sure that products really are interoperable, they're designed and they're proven to be interoperable, you can harmonize it with the regulatory environment. You can make sure that it's safe and you can communicate the fact that it is safe. So what's the status the Alliance Do you? Do you have many members what kind of man Mr. Chia?
Yeah, so as I was saying, right, you know, I would say the who's who of consumer electronics are are part of airfuel. Alliance, right. So whether these are, you know, technology providers, people who've been researching virus power for decades, right? They have the core technology and and the understanding in the community, but then you know, you need integrated semiconductors, right, you're not going to build these with discrete parts. So we have the folks who build chips, or we have the OEMs, who actually integrate those chips into their products. We have people who manufacture these products in Asia, by the way, our members, right. And when you're doing something as big as this, it's not just about the chips, but it's all about antennas, and magnetics, and ferrite, you know, all of these other things that you need to pull together, right. And as we've gone through, we realized, for example, even though the physics behind wireless power has been like a century old, there were innovations needed in power electronics, semiconductors, by the way, right. So a lot of those companies are members of airfuel. So that because they look at this and say, This is a market that I need to be in. Okay, so, so we have, you know, somewhere around 50, to 60 members, who work very closely together, all parts of the ecosystem, distributed globally.
Steve Statler 11:29
And I know you can't name your favorite children, so but it's companies like Samsung and Qualcomm and they that other companies that may be less familiar, like Masik, and so forth,
are just very good, you know, SD, micro, again, systems EPC, I could go on and on and on. But you know, these are all part of the ecosystem. And the key thing is all of them, see the market opportunity in wireless power. That's why they are here. They know, this is the experience that we need to push. This is something that is coming.
Steve Statler 12:05
So fu alliance is not just about one standard, though, is it? You've looks like you've got two families. Can you explain a bit about that?
Yeah, yeah, no, definitely. And maybe before we get to the two families, it's important to understand the kind of experiences airfield stands for, right. So if you look at what most people have experienced today, when it comes to wireless power, right is probably on their phone, charging it by putting it on a pad. But I think we all all also understand that it's a one to one experience, one transmitter charges, one receiver, or one transmitter charges one device at a time. And the robustness to placement isn't quite what consumers expect, which is if you move your phone, let's say even a few millimeters, it doesn't quite charge as well. Right? So even though technically, right? You know, it is wireless power, because there's no conductive path between the two. But when I ask a lot of consumers, is this what you think of wireless power? Is this the vision that you had? When you bought a wireless charger? They'll say sigh Gen. No. Right? This is not what I expected. And people lose trust in the technology. So what airfuel Alliance when it was formed was yes, this is the fourth generation wireless power technology that's there today. But we need to deliver something better, a better experience for our customers. And it all starts with meeting that expectation of freedom. Taking away the constraints, for example, right? If I want to put my device in a general, I like to call it actually, you know, left handed blind placement. And I don't want to hear it's not anybody who's left handed or right handed, right. So you know, I usually walk around with a coffee in my right hand, my laptop in the other hand, or my phone, and I want to just place it on my desk, and it should charge without me worrying about anything. Right? That's the kind of experience we want to enable. Right? A lot of the thing that I hear from people is signed it just give me Wi Fi like wireless power experience, why can't they just do that? Right, this very three dimensional experience, I have a access point or a wireless power transmitter in somewhere in my room, and it charges everything in my room. Just give that to me. Right? And so the members and what airfuel alliance is committed to is within the regulatory system that exists and without compromising safety, and so on is to get as close to that experience as possible. Right, so in a way deliver freedom. Yeah, and so the two standards that we have Now, one is called magnetic resonance, which can deliver, I would say hundreds of watts of power along a surface, right, or a small volume around the surface. And the surface is a mathematical surface, it could be flat, it could be the, the surface of a sphere, or a bowl or whatever, and you can charge your phone, you can charge your laptop, you can charge multiple devices, it doesn't matter what they are, at the same time, right to kind of, don't let it be a one to one experience, I want to charge multiple devices, simultaneously, each one needs its own amount of power, and you can just place them and you know, they're charging the second. So that's the magnetic resonance technology. And then the other technology that we have is, you know, very much like Wi Fi, it's radiating power, it's called farfield, radiative wireless power, it's radiating power in a three dimensional space. And that technology is you clearly cannot deliver, even though in a lab, you can certainly do that. Commercially, you cannot do more than a few, you cannot transmit more than a few watts of power, and still meet the existing global regulatory and regulations in place. Right. Now, a lot of people said, Saudi, what are people going to do if I can only send out a few watts by the time I receive it a few meters away, I can only get a milli water to what good is that? And this is when, if you step back, and you think about it, due to innovation in semiconductors, and computing and wireless communication, by the way, a lot of our IoT devices like temp sensors, humidity sensors, all kinds of, you know, door sensors, window sensor, I could go on and on. That's all that they need. Right? So, so this technology, the radiative or the RF wireless power standard that we just released, allows you to kind of create that market for these IoT devices now afford different kinds that and you can build them without batteries. And that to me, that is the game changer. And I have realized in a lot of people are realizing now everybody thought in the consumer electronics, cell phones were the biggest market. Yeah, you sell 2 billion cell phones roughly every year. But the number of IoT devices that are being sold are very like order of magnitude higher than two, right? We're talking 20 billion IoT devices every year now. And more. Right, and my number may be conservative. So there is a tremendous need and market and the impact of this technology is very, I would say fundamental. Right? Yeah. Imagine how many if I didn't have to worry about coin cell batteries and so on. I would start seeing them everywhere. Right? You know, kind of just like us use the word ambient ambient computing, ambient IoT, that is what this technology enables at the end.
Steve Statler 18:11
No, I agree you get into so yeah, I think your numbers are slightly conservative. But in the future, I think as the the sensors get into food, containers, medicine, clothing, important documents will be tracked in in real time, then then you go from 10s of billions to hundreds and definitely trillions, you look at the amount of sample bottles that are used for capturing blood and vaccine vials where how many billions has been injected with vaccines that were at the wrong temperature, and were ineffective? We don't know because that world is offline. And so wireless power is one of the the things that
exactly just everything, to me, everything needs this thing. In a way, if the industry can deliver these IoT sensors that don't need batteries, and are cheap, they will be on everything, right? There's no reason why it shouldn't be that way. Like you were saying.
Steve Statler 19:24
And I'm just sort of realizing as I listened to myself that some people may be wondering about the my day job and the relevance to this I'm going to kind of do something which I was hesitated to just talk about the company I worked for. So you know, we do please do. We're here we we work with you guys, but we are independent of the standards that you have. It just so happens that your standards are a catalyst for very bountiful sources of power that are devices can harvest. But we harvest energy from other things, everything from FM radio, oh to Bluetooth signals, things that are not a fuel outline. So, so we operate in the same orbit, I think we have very similar ideas, and a number of your members are working with us. And so but but it's not, we're not dependent on you, you're not dependent on us. And the reason why I invited you on was, it was an area that I just thought was fascinating. I wanted to know more about it. And one of the things I wanted to know more about is, you know, I'm a computer scientist by training. I'm not an electrical engineer. So I'm spent my whole life trying to understand what these geniuses i work with do. But can you explain in simple terms, how does the magnetic resonance technology work? And then the the 3d thing, what, what are the differences in how that works?
Well, okay, so we could go on for an hour, or maybe more. But I'll try and keep it really simple, right? The, the physics of any wireless power, have not changed, right. And it's very simply about if you put an oscillating current, let's say, in a coil, it will create an oscillating magnetic field or electric field, you see at the end, it's electromagnetic in nature, right. And then if you put another coil in that field, you can harvest energy. So that's, you know, at a very high level, the basics of wireless power trends. Right? Now, the key thing is, and this is what differentiates the different technologies is, one, whether you're near field or far field, the near field, the distance between the transmitter and the receiver is less than the wavelength of the frequency that you're using. Right? Now, if you say, Who cares about that, the benefit of doing that is, the efficiency will tend to be very high. Because any energy, if you minimize the radiated energy, and all the energy is concentrated in the near field, then any energy that isn't sucked up by the receiver can go back, you know, there's into the transmitter, so nothing is really being wasted. Right. So that's the resonant magnetic induction kind of technology. Now, when you talk about radiative, you typically use a much higher frequency. So the wavelengths can get small, the antennas can get really small, and then you're basically radiating energy in a 3d pattern. The rich is very much like what the cellular communications works on Wi Fi, or Bluetooth, right, they're all radiated. And you can, because you're receiving a signal, you're getting some energy in traditional communications, do you just want to extract the signal, even if you get a very, very small amount of energy, you can extract your data out of it. If when you're doing with wireless power, the challenge is I'm not interested in extracting the data, but I'm actually extracting the energy from the signal that I received and you know, that signal tends to get weaker and weaker as with distance later, it will decrease with the square of the distance roughly, again, dependent on your antenna design and so on, right. So, the the RF power solutions are in 3d, what you have to do to make it work in a 3d like environment is you have to be in the radiative regime, right, which means the distance between the transmitter and the receiver have to be greater than the wavelength of whatever frequency you're using to put into this transmitting system. Typically, for RF systems or these Wi Fi like systems, you would use a frequency closer to a gigahertz Right? Very similar to the frequencies that you would use for your communications you know, cellular Wi Fi, Bluetooth, and so on. The air fuel RF standard uses the 915 megahertz isn band, but as you said, you can use the 2.4 which is being used for Bluetooth for example, people are talking about going millimeter wave, you know, which is 30 gigahertz and so on as well. And each one of those frequencies has interesting trade offs for overall system design. And you know, people asked me this question all the time. Sonya what is the right solution for me or what is the weather industry have one solution? And I always go back and remind them you know, if you look at my cell phone today and look at how many different communic wireless communication technologies are in my cell phone. I've got cellular and how many different bands of cellular and 2g, 3g, 4g 5g? Wi Fi, Bluetooth? RFID? NFC? Dear, I could go on and on. Right. So there's not one wireless communication standard, depending on the use case, there's a different technology. Yeah, same with wireless power, depending on how much power what distance, what your use case, and so on, there will be multiple kind of technologies in place. And the job of a product designer is to choose the one that is the most appropriate for his use case that delivers the best experience at the end.
Steve Statler 25:38
And so other if you can you help us position the other standards in this space, I don't know whether you consider them to be competitive or not. But like, there's people are starting to develop wireless power for cars and that sort of thing that is that outside of your bailiwick.
Oh, no. So yeah, I can I can definitely help explain. Right. So there are the fourth generation standards, right, the fourth like cellular where, you know, the fourth generation was analog, which is where I kind of started my career, right? And we went to 2g, 3g, 4g 5g, and we're talking six G now, right? So the first generation technology is, you know, what I like to call magnetic induction, which we've seen on our electric toothbrush, or a cell phone, right. And that technology works in hundreds of kilohertz of operating frequency, just because that was the best semiconductors I had available, not because of anything else, the physics of all of this has been very well. Now, the challenge with that is because of the physics, I get very little positional freedom. As a result,
Steve Statler 26:49
simple. I mean, the number of times I have charged a device, or full charges of charging, and I haven't, and then I'm stuck the things dead, and I need it. And I'm like, I like okay, wireless power doesn't work. I'm gonna go back to good old cables. That's the problem, isn't it?
Yeah. And the reason for why it is not charging is because I'm using a very, very low frequency. And unfortunately, that was dictated by the power electronics semiconductors I had right in especially the silicon MOSFET. It was not very efficient, if you try to increase the frequency of operating too much. Then we have the next generation technology, the second generation technology very much like GSM to the analog cell phone, right? The frequency of operation now has gone up by by 50 times almost. And this is all happened because of this magical semiconductor technology called gallium nitride. You'd I can't say enough about gallium nitride in it. That is what is you probably seen, you know, the charging breaks for my phone and my laptop, right? Suddenly, they seem to be shrinking in size in the last couple of years. And it's all because of this magical thing called gallium nitride, right. They allow me to operate at much higher frequencies, which allow me to then shrink the size of all the capacitors and inductors in these power supplies, which is what I think, right. So if you increase the operating frequency, by, let's say, two orders of magnitude, which is really what we have done from first generation to, let's say, the airfield resonant standard, it allows me to basically increase the sweet spot by that same amount. And right, so that is what makes the experience so awesome. In the sense that, yes, I can now design something. And you may remember this, Steve, but you know, there was a product called air fuel, air power that Apple had announced a few years ago, right? This little, you know, eight by 11 sized sheet of device that you could put your phone your all your apple accessories on it and charge, right. And the challenge why Apple could not deliver that product at its very core was because the operating frequency was still stuck in hundreds of kilohertz. So we were fighting physics at that point in time, right. But today, we can build those systems where you can charge multiple devices simultaneously, all requiring different amounts of power, because my operating frequency can be much higher. And it's not because I suddenly learned some new physics Now have you always known this thing? It's all about semiconductors at the end, right? And then the RF technology which is you know, the kind of radiating energy in free space, the challenge there has been really why This safe or what will the regulatory bodies allow you to do at the end? Right? We've all heard about, right? Every time there's a new cellular communications technology, right? You know, there's always a group of people who will start saying, hey, will this give you cancer will this, you know, maybe you can't have babies anymore if you carry these devices in your pockets, and so on. And by the way, the last 20 plus years, how much energy you can send out at what frequency is closely regulated by government bodies. So when we're talking about radiative energy transfer, that technology needs to follow exactly the same rules that exist today, within those existing constraints, how much power you can send. And that kind of at the end dictates how much power you can receive at a given distance.
Steve Statler 30:48
So you'll get governed by the same standards that govern communications basically.
Exactly. Yeah. So for wireless power, we have not gone and asked, let's say, the FCC to change the rules for us. We have right? There are global independent bodies who tell us and tell the industry and the government's what is safe, right? We don't, we don't make stuff up ourselves. There are people who do this for a living. And they provide the guidance to us and say, Hey, this is how much you can sustain energy you can transport safely and under what conditions. So we follow the same rules.
Steve Statler 31:29
So getting back to the competitive questions, so So chi, your key or whatever, however you pronounce or spell it? I'm a branding guy. So I really have a problem with anything that has security around it. But how does how does that compare with what you guys do?
What Yeah, so the what I say the CI technology is the force generation technology, working at the 100 kilohertz gives you spatial freedom at best off a few millimeters. The next generation technologies, if you need higher amounts of power, you can increase the frequency by a couple of orders of magnitude. And now you can create surfaces. So you just go from what is called I like to call it point charging to a two dimensional charging a surface is at the end is a two dimensional space automatics, right? And then if you increase the frequency, another couple of orders of magnitude to your head, and he got close to a gigahertz, now you can get a 3d environment, you know, which is what everybody wants? And I tell everybody, yes, you can have 3d charging, I can show this to you in a lab. But we still need to operate within the constraints of the regulatory interest restrictions in place and what is provably safe, right? So it's not that I can't send out 100 watts of power at a gigahertz we know how to do that. We just you probably don't get the permission to introduce that product in the market in a consumer environment.
Steve Statler 33:13
Make sense? And then so the the car charging standards, is that you or is that other
group? Yeah, so no bill, so we are actually the car charging standards that maybe I should speak a little bit about what this whole vision is, right? You know, EVs are everywhere now. Nobody loves plugging their ATVs you know, that's not again, an expense that is like fun and exciting, right? What could be beautiful if you could just drive into your garage and your car is charging from something underneath the garage floor or you park your car on the street and your your car is just charging from underneath the street and eventually while you're driving on the street, your car is being charged constantly while driving. That's maybe a little bit away. Now, to charge a car you need you know energy of 10 kilowatts or more, right, you know Tesla's charging about these DC charges we do 200 kilowatts, right? You know, a few 100 Watts isn't going to do anything to an electric vehicle. Given the amount of power that you need. Even the gallium nitride that is a well semiconductors available today they cannot handle so much power. Right. So by default all of the Evie Qi wireless charging standard today is at 85 kilohertz which is kind of like the cheek I know frequency because it's not as if the Evie charging experience will improve. If you could use higher frequencies right then you don't have to worry Oh is my car parked exactly perfectly. I don't need a lie. unmanned systems in my car, you know, autonomous alignment systems in my car and so on. But we still need some more innovation in gallium nitride or other semiconductors to be able to handle these higher frequency of operation at significantly higher power levels. Right. And I always remind people, it's important to think about, you know, when I'm charging a car at 10 kilowatts per second, in my system is very efficient. It's 90%. Efficient. Great, I still have a kilowatt of energy going somewhere. But guess what became to that kilowatt of energy at 90%? Efficiency became heat. Yes. One kilowatt is a lot of power. And you have to figure out what you're going to do with that kilowatt of heat. Right? It's a hazard. Imagine you're, you know, the transmitter, is that hot? Will you spill somebody born themselves by sedated? Maybe your dog decided to do something there or whatever, you know, so it's so for that all of these reasons. Today, the Evie standards are working at 85 kilohertz. But we would love to move to higher frequencies. I think the benefits, of course, are there.
Steve Statler 36:16
Yes. So I have an insight, a bit of an insider question for companies that join the air fuel Alliance and start to participate in the standards making, what was the approach you took to intellectual property? There's different approaches to that. And a lot of companies, you know, on one hand, you want to drop your ability and you want to be part of this bigger market. On the other hand, you don't want to find that all those patents that you've used to raise money suddenly are not worth anything.
Yeah, great. Great question, Stephen. You know, this is probably the question that I get asked the most when members are looking to join, right. And this is an area where we did not innovate, what we did was we found out the best practices from the industry, and the IPR policy that airfuel has, is called red, which is the stands for reasonable and non discriminate, right. And what that means is, you know, like, you were saying, you don't want to make access to IP free because you want to create, give companies incentive to innovate, then create IP, right? So what we do is, every company, every member company in air fuel, has an obligation to license the IP to all our other members, right? So you cannot say I'm going to license only to my friends, you have to license to everybody else who's an air fuel member, on the same terms, rights and non discriminatory and fair and reasonable. So but fair and reasonable. Is not airfuel deciding this, or a group of people deciding this, at the end, every company gets to decide for themselves, what is fair, and what's a reasonable price for their IP. Right. And by the way, this is something that this Rand IPR policy has been very successful, I would say it's probably at the core of why we're all using cellular networks today. Right. And, you know, the secular standards have been so successful and so widely adopted, and that entire standard structure is based on the same IPR policy because it rewards people It rewards innovation, but also allows us to create a big market matrix. The other little nuance, which is, and by the way, I should probably preface this by saying I'm not a lawyer, I'm just a geek, right, is the obligation to license is only for what we what I like to say standards, essential IP. A lot of companies, you know, think when they join interferon and other standards organization under, say a RAND IPR policy, the obligation to licenses for all of their patents that they own. Right, which isn't exactly the case at all right in this is this obligation is for a very small number of claims in a patent, which are deemed to be essential to the standard, which means there is no known way of implementing the standard and being interoperable with the market without infringing on that play. Your obligation, a company's obligation is only to license those essential claims and nothing else, right? So it's a very small, it's not like your entire IP portfolio, you have to go license to others. So I think it comforts people when they realize, okay, I can build a very strong IP portfolio and still be a member, and have a balance of essential IP and nice to have IP and something that just not essential or nothing to do with the standard for example.
Steve Statler 40:23
Are you good? That's a great explanation. Well, Sanjay, we have to move the conversation on, I got some pressing questions about you and your career. But thanks for introducing us to FU Alliance and wireless power. If you're tiny bit smarter than I was half an hour ago.
Now Becky was getting ready to join the conversation. Good fund.
Steve Statler 40:45
So Sanjay, did you grow up in India?
Yeah, I did. I did it.
Steve Statler 40:51
What was that? Like?
It was a trustee. It was I would say it's chaotic. Read it. You know, I grew up in a small family. You know, very much I would say middle class had to bout with a family that was focused on education. Right. And you know, and it was fun. It was it was really fun. It was we were very much what I would say seat of the pants kind of a country and a culture and to take life as it comes.
Steve Statler 41:32
So you, you're a doctor, Dr. Gupta, were you the first PhD in your family? Or?
ID? Yes. forsten. Only skill. So.
Steve Statler 41:45
Very good. So how do you get from where you grew up to leading a international industry Alliance dealing with complex business technical issues with some of the largest companies in the world? How, how did you get there?
You know, it's, I wish I could say planned at all right, you know, this is something I knew what I was gonna do. And I was like, 15 1618 No, I think this is just how my life has evolved and how it's, you know, my own thinking is wrong. Right. You know, I, I've always been a little bit of a geek. You know, doing new things, challenging things, doing things differently was kind of maybe a little bit of a rebel. Let me
Steve Statler 42:37
you were a university professor, right. Yeah,
I was I was at, you know, that was, that was what everybody wanted to do. Once they did their PhD, at least that's where, you know, when I was preparing it, you know, did that, that that was the thing to do. And a couple of years into my teaching career, I realized, that wasn't for me. Right, you know, I was I'm an impatient person, people that know, me know, Saif is getting impatient. He wants to make an impact, he is not the slowest steady guy. And my temperament and my behaviors are better suited for the corporate world. And I realized, you know, I grew up with the earliest days of the Internet, right? Know, your TCP IP was kind of just being figured out. And, and you think you're doing awesome work in academia. Nobody wants to talk about nobody wants to take a look at it. Regular people at that dusty are moving fast and furious, doing their own things. And I realized if I was gonna make an impact, academics was not the place that positions you do this, at least in my field. But what I was trying to do, which was wireless communications, networking, data, networking, IP, everything that was of the place, and I literally left academics on the web. And this is an anecdote that I love telling. I woke up in the middle of the night one day when I was still a professor, all sweaty and thinking about what am I going to tell my grandkids when they grew up to worry about what I did? And like, Okay, I'm gonna have a closet full of papers, academic stuff that may be very few people have read. And I couldn't explain anything to them. Literally, that was the thing and I wasn't even married. I didn't do an app kid. You know, you'd start dreaming about grandkids, right? That's kind of crazy. When I went to my department chair the next morning it said, you know, the ability I'm gonna do something else. I had no idea what I was gonna do, but I told him my intention was to leave By the end of the semester, it was January. So that was it. Well, and get that, by the way. Because my earliest standards, I'd love to standard stories to tell as well, you know, I joined Motorola after I left the university. And because the only thing I knew was data, I had no idea how the circuits made phone call worked in those days, which is what everybody was using. Said Sanjay, well, you can work on data here. And I didn't know what to do. And so I started to kind of lay the foundation for some of the first earliest work at GPRS. I wrote a lot of the 3d in 3d PP and et Cie, the foundations of three GSM, how to do data architecture, and so on. So and you know, one thing led to the other basically, right, then now I end up that there's a long story, we could go into it about wireless charging, becoming my next passion. Yeah.
Steve Statler 46:07
So you're doing that you're working for a series of companies, I can see how you start to get into this wireless power area. But what was it that made you decide that you wanted to herd cats in the in the Alliance world?
Yeah, so I'll tell you, and this goes back to my first brushwood standards, right, which is, how to do data over cellular This is, I would say, bit too late 90s. And, you know, you have to understand I'm coming from a very academic background. And I thought standards was all about the best technical solutions. And my first standards meeting in Europe, opened my eyes, I said, cheese, I came back. Yeah, there were technical arguments. But this was not about technology. These were business arguments being wrapped up in some, you know, technical mumbo jumbo being heard back and forth. And, and I said, Wow, this is interesting, this is really interesting, because everybody's advocating for their companies and very selfish business interests, to do it in. You know, in a technical way, right, or at least on the face of it looks technical. Yeah, I became very good at it, I learned the stuff I figured, you know, I would do so much for me to learn not just about technology, but about business and everything else. And in those few years of me doing standards, and leading the workflow standards, or team doing data or cellular, I grew immensely, I think I kind of used that three or four years, kind of as a foundation for what I have become. So anyway, so you know, there is a certain about impact that happens, right? You know, and I talked about telling my grandkids, what I had accomplished, right? And, you know, to me, if you use a cellphone, I can see there is a little bit of B inside every cell phone, right? If there's if I wasn't doing the standards, the specs would have looked quite a bit different today, right? Maybe things are architected very differently. You know, you can probably have lots of patterns that are on every implemented as a result cloud today. Right? So to me, that's all about the impact. That in a way you can communicate in a way a small kid can understand. Yeah. And wireless power is that next big opportunity, right? I think it is huge. This is the last wire in a way left in our lives now. Right? There is this need to charge everything it's not normal, you know, he would beings loved their freedom. They want to be a desert really. And to me, this is the next big opportunity. Right? You know, for me to make an impact.
Steve Statler 49:17
That makes sense. That makes sense. Very good. Okay, Sanjay. So the hardest question of our interview what are your three songs that a memorable
wuth has seen since you warned me about it? I've been like obsessing about this right serve. So I'll tell you I have three things picked out and they all have their own stories by the way. One sell you and Steve you know you'll get to know me you know, I'm a big I love to cook by the way. Right? So. So the first thought I have is a song on that, you'll if you come home, come to my home for dinner, which I love entertaining people over dinner, then you're definitely going to hear this. This is my song that I listened to when I'm cooking, you know, just kind of calms me down, just tunes everything out in the background for me. And then I listened to it and it's a song. It's a fusion song, by the way, I think it's Indian and American a little bit. And it's called Making music by Zakir Hussain who's on Tabla. There's a musician you may have heard of Yan Garbarek? Who is on the sax? John McLaughlin. Yes was on the guitar. And then Hardy prosper such Arisia who is on the flute. Amazing, amazing song. If you're interested, I'm happy to play just a little, like 10 seconds of it.
Steve Statler 50:52
I would love to we can't because of rights reasons. In the old days earlier before Spotify got really picky about this actually wasn't sped away that one of these, I think was YouTube. One of them gets really fussy about that, which and we used to play a bit of the music in the background is very nice. So it can't do it. But what if you send me the URL, what we will do is we'll put it in the in the know love it on the episode.
Yeah, it's such a beautiful song. It's fusion. It's kind of reflects me like, Indian American. You know, it's kind of a little bit of a mixed identity now. And this is like truly word music. And I love all music. Yeah, it's no word just just instruments but beautiful. Beautiful.
Steve Statler 51:42
Fantastic. And I'm, I'm gonna give you some feedback. You may be aware of this already, but I'm sure you've heard of that. Dale Carnegie book, How to Make Friends and Influence People. I feel like he missed something out which was if you say I love to cook Oh, right.
No, absolutely. DVP come over to pastor dinner at my place.
Steve Statler 52:11
Excellent. Very good. This has been a worthwhile interview. what's your what's your second?
Okay, the second song you brought? Definitely sure you heard it. It's it's money for nothing by dire straits. Of course. You know, to me, this is the song that I like to listen when I need some energy. This is like caffeine for me. I typically listen to it when there's nobody at home so I can just like get the volume turned up really loud to the Windows or shaking or. But it's something I grew up as a teenager, you know. So this and Pink Floyd, you know, Dire Straits Pink Floyd? Was the music I used to love. Still love it. The most amazing thing is my kids still love it.
Steve Statler 52:53
That is so gratifying, isn't it? I one of my kids is very receptive to my music and I love talking about and the other one is I just need to say somebody is like, ah, that's terrible. That's all now.
Exactly, exactly. So they love this thing as well. So this is you know, we're in the car, and we got to have to play this. Okay, and the third song I have, you're talking about kids. So it's a very interesting song. And you know, I told you like, I'm a geek, we're a family of geeks. And so the third, so our younger son who was in high school a few years ago, and we didn't know he was he, he was playing music. We had no clue. He just invited us over to his school one day and said, Mom and Dad, maybe you guys want to come we'll do some stuff. And maybe you can come and listen, you guys are bored at home in any case. So we go to school, right? And then suddenly we see this guy, he's the lead singer for the school band. And it's doing such a phenomenal job that is like, I can't believe it. Right. And so the song was super positioned by young the giant. I don't know if you heard this band. I don't know. I'll tell you the story behind this band. And I still think my son had little subliminal messaging for me on this one. Yeah. So the story is, this band is fronted by an Indian kid named Samir Gadea. He grew up in Michigan comes from a family of you know, classical Indian musicians, you know, very much like Zakir Hussain and the group. But I think you know, there's a stereotype Indians tend to be a little geeks. And I think his family somehow convinced him and he was studying Human Biology at Stanford. And while he's doing that, he just realized that wasn't for him. He was gonna go do music. And even though he was trained in Indian classical music because of his family, he said he was going to do American rock. So, so this is the the band, this is a song by him and he's actually quite successful. You know, they've, they've been very successful. And then this is a song about quantum physics, right? So think about that. But it's a beautiful song. I know we can play it here, but you should absolutely listen to it. I wish I had the recording of my son singing yet. Oh, yeah, but it's amazing. It's amazing. So maybe a little bit unconventional songs, but everything has meaning for me.
Steve Statler 55:45
I love it. I'm gonna listen to all three, please do send the YouTube links, and we'll put them in the description. That's very good. Well, Sanjay, it's been a real pleasure. Thanks so much for joining us on the show.
My pleasure. Great. Great to be here.
Steve Statler 56:02
So that was my conversation with Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Wonderful chap. I hope you found it as interesting as I did. Please do. Rate us tell your friends. And most importantly, look out for our next episode. We really appreciate you tuning in and listening whatever the medium is. Some of you will hear the odd adverts. Just to let you know as I worked for Willie up doesn't seem right for me to keep that revenue. So what we do is we donate it to the monarch School, which is a local school that caters for the children of homeless people. So thanks for your loyalty and interests and look forward to engaging with you next time.