Chargeasap's crowdfunded 200W GaN USB-C power brick can charge up to 4 devices simultaneously

Humza

Posts: 711   +159
Staff member
Bottom line: Chargeasap wants the portable Omega power brick to be the only accessory that consumers rely on for charging all their devices. The credit card-sized charger comes in two variants: 100W ($45) and 200W ($75), with the latter able to charge two Macbook Pros simultaneously via its 2 x 100W USB-C ports. It also features a graphene membrane and a high-density nano heat sink, which according to Chargeasap, combine to offer superior heat dissipation and efficiency than traditional chargers. The company launched a 60-day campaign on Kickstarter last week, where it quickly managed to surpass the Omega's $10,000 funding goal, meaning that backers/early birds would likely start receiving their chargers on schedule in January next year.

Chargeasap claims that its pocketable Omega USB-C wall adapter is the world's first and smallest 200W Gallium Nitride (GaN) charger. The Sydney-based tech startup sells a variety of crowdfunded charging accessories (magnetic cables, power banks, chargers) and is pitching the Omega as the perfect portable charger for work, home and travel.

Instead of silicon, Chargeasap utilizes gallium nitride (GaN) semiconductor technology from Navitas inside the Omega, which it says enables the charger to output 200W of power with minimal heat and maximum efficiency in a small footprint. As a result, the charger's 2 x USB-C Power Delivery 3.0 ports can each output 100W to charge two laptops simultaneously, alongside the 2 x USB-A ports that are compatible with a variety of fast charging protocols from Apple, Samsung, Qualcomm, OnePlus and Huawei.

With four devices connected, the Omega's 200W output is split into 65W for both USB-C ports and 22.5W on the Type-A ports. Thermals are kept in check by a graphene membrane ribbon sheet that wraps around the Omega's circuitry, alongside a high-density nano heat sink that the company says keeps it well below the industry standard for max charging temps.

Chargeasap also draws attention to the Omega's value for money proposition that saves consumers from buying a separate adapter for each of their devices. Although it may not appeal to those already using out of the box chargers, the convenience of having to use just one power brick for charging four devices at once is still there.

The Omega 200W comes with 2-way foldable prongs that can be adjusted at 90°/180° for better usability. It also has a smaller 100W variant that can deliver max output through either one of its USB-C ports and features a single 22.5W USB-A port. With three devices connected, it sends 65W to one USB-C port and 12W each to the other remaining ports.

Both Omega models support 100V-240V worldwide universal voltage and come with three plug converters (AU/EU/UK) to take care of compatibility issues. Considering that Chargeasap has gone well past the charger's original funding goal with over 50 days more to go, expect its thousands of backers to start charging with their Omegas early next year.

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grumblguts

Posts: 343   +294
Fire hazard incoming.
use the wrong kind of cable you will have melted plastic.
65 watts down a standard usb cable isnt safe.
my charging power brick today gets my cables warm to the touch.
you double the wattage it will melt and cause the cables to break down inside cause a short and then a fire.
 

mbrowne5061

Posts: 1,601   +906
I am just going to classify this one as vaporware in my head. GaN is not a straightforward technology, which very few companies have cracked. I am not even sure who they would go to for GaN parts. Or even what the point is. You use GaN when you need to survive high temps, but they also claim this charger is going to have some kind of 'super heat sink'? And they're wrapping in graphene?

Who is going to make this thing - let alone make it at consumer prices and quantities?
 

ColdSoup

Posts: 78   +165
Fire hazard incoming.
use the wrong kind of cable you will have melted plastic.
65 watts down a standard usb cable isnt safe.
my charging power brick today gets my cables warm to the touch.
you double the wattage it will melt and cause the cables to break down inside cause a short and then a fire.
Not really. You need an "active" cable for the product to allow 5A instead of 3A to come out. The USB-PD standard accounts for this theoretical issue. The only real risk is a China fake that was unsafely designed with the full intention of defrauding customers into thinking they are getting something they really aren't.
 

seeprime

Posts: 491   +526
I am just going to classify this one as vaporware in my head. GaN is not a straightforward technology, which very few companies have cracked. I am not even sure who they would go to for GaN parts. Or even what the point is. You use GaN when you need to survive high temps, but they also claim this charger is going to have some kind of 'super heat sink'? And they're wrapping in graphene?

Who is going to make this thing - let alone make it at consumer prices and quantities?
China's factories will make it. Just don't expect it to last very long before self destructing.
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 7,396   +5,836
Looks like your basic scam to me .... the physic's of electricity haven't changed so safely charging it with one of these plug in modules that cost all of $20 is more than sufficient ....
 
What a shame that it doesn't appear to support Qualcomm's new Quick Charge 5 standard, 2016's Quick Charge 3.0 standard is a disappointment.
 

bviktor

Posts: 216   +397
What a shame that it doesn't appear to support Qualcomm's new Quick Charge 5 standard, 2016's Quick Charge 3.0 standard is a disappointment.
It's a shame if it supports any revision of QC at all. QC is a proprietary mess and it needs to die a quick death.
 
It's a shame if it supports any revision of QC at all. QC is a proprietary mess and it needs to die a quick death.
0 to 50% charge in five minutes, 0 to 100% in 15 with more efficiency, while using a USB Type-C standard plug? Looks much better than the previous QCs.
 

mbrowne5061

Posts: 1,601   +906
China's factories will make it. Just don't expect it to last very long before self destructing.
My point is the China's factories can't make it. There are GaN chips for charging circuits, but I wouldn't be surprised to find out if there are export controls on them. If they can be made in China, none of the chips available can charge 4 devices simultaneously. They can only charge one device at a time, so you would need to build 4 charging circuits - which will likely put the cost above $60 - or have only one quick charge port, and the rest be regular ones or non-GaN ones.

And nevermind that no one knows how to work with graphene in a manufacturing environment.

Mark my words: this thing will never see mass production, or any kind of production. If they had a workable idea, they would have gone through CrowdSource - who actually vet all the projects they host, and help guide them through getting manufacturing up and running.
 

neeyik

Posts: 1,304   +1,372
Staff member
65 watts down a standard usb cable isnt safe.
That's for USB-C though, and for such a cable to be properly certified as being compliant, it must permit a minimum power draw of 60W; the maximum rated draw is 100W.
 

Bullwinkle M

Posts: 355   +229
Not really. You need an "active" cable for the product to allow 5A instead of 3A to come out. The USB-PD standard accounts for this theoretical issue. The only real risk is a China fake that was unsafely designed with the full intention of defrauding customers into thinking they are getting something they really aren't.
200 watts is still 200 watts, regardless of where you quickly dissipate it

Lay a 200 watt incandescent lightbulb directly on your carpeted floor and you will quickly understand what the problem is

now pick it up with your bare hands

The heat is directly dissipated to the devices surroundings
(your flaming house)
 

ColdSoup

Posts: 78   +165
200 watts is still 200 watts, regardless of where you quickly dissipate it

Lay a 200 watt incandescent lightbulb directly on your carpeted floor and you will quickly understand what the problem is

now pick it up with your bare hands

The heat is directly dissipated to the devices surroundings
(your flaming house)
You aren't dissipating the rated wattage in the wall brick though. You are dumping it into batteries that are rated to handle it. Batteries charged from USB-PD must meet safety standards to be sold.
 
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Adhmuz

Posts: 2,047   +839
You aren't dissipating the rated wattage in the wall brick though. You are dumping it into batteries that are rated to handle it. Batteries charged from USB-PD must meet safety standards to be sold.
That's only assuming the charging block is 100% efficient, since that's not possible there is heat loss in the AC to DC conversion process. 200 watts is a lot for something this size to output, even if say the efficiency is 90% that's ~20 watts of heat to dissipate, which may not sound like much but if the enclosure is plastic and not thermally effective at transferring heat to the surrounding air heat will build up and the thing will get very hot.

As an example my 45 watt laptop brick pulls 50 watts from the wall which is convenient right at 90% efficiency, after 30 minutes the thing is hot to the touch, after 1 hour I no longer can comfortably hold it. This brick is roughly the volume of this one being developed, but only outputting 1/4 of the power, even if this charger is 95% efficient it will still get very hot.
 
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That's only assuming the charging block is 100% efficient, since that's not possible there is heat loss in the AC to DC conversion process. 200 watts is a lot for something this size to output, even if say the efficiency is 90% that's ~20 watts of heat to dissipate, which may not sound like much but if the enclosure is plastic and not thermally effective at transferring heat to the surrounding air heat will build up and the thing will get very hot.

As an example my 45 watt laptop brick pulls 50 watts from the wall which is convenient right at 90% efficiency, after 30 minutes the thing is hot to the touch, after 1 hour I no longer can comfortably hold it. This brick is roughly the volume of this one being developed, but only outputting 1/4 of the power, even if this charger is 95% efficient it will still get very hot.
I agree with your assessment, 90% is typical of well made converters. 95% is close to best in class for 50~200W devices. DC-DC efficiency depends on several factors. Better efficiency can be attained by using larger (more expensive) inductors, optimized (usually larger) switching FETs (the GaN bits). Highly optimized kW converters can achieve 97%-98%, but this level of optimization is often too costly to be worth it. This seems scammy...
 

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