consumer electronics

Q&A: OPPO core fast-charge engineer on developing SUPERVOOC tech

Gelo Gonzales
Q&A: OPPO core fast-charge engineer on developing SUPERVOOC tech

Oppo website

From its inception in 2014 as VOOC, OPPO's fast-charging tech may find its way to cars and other hardware in the future

One of the most useful smartphone technologies in recent memory is the development of fast-charging capabilities. Smartphones, with heavy usage, don’t often last for more than a day or two. Before fast-charging came, it was a hassle to plug in the phone, and wait for around two hours for it to completely charge. Sure, you can use it while it’s plugged in, but that’s not always possible for when you have to leave the house soon and you’ve forgotten to charge. Modern fast-charging tech now lets you get substantial power after just maybe 15 minutes.

Fast-charging’s also become its own arms race within the smartphone wars. OPPO is among those who have always paid attention to fast-charging, starting development of its proprietary tech called VOOC (Voltage Open Loop Multi-step Constant-Current Charging) back in 2014, when smartphone use was growing, battery life was increasing, as well as apps and chips that required more power.

We talked to OPPO engineer Edward Tian, one of the core developers of VOOC (later evolving to SUPERVOOC), to tell us a little about the technology’s history and where it’s headed.

Q: How fast is SUPERVOOC compared to current tech from OPPO contemporaries?

While we are not able to comment on other competitors, the standout features of SUPERVOOC are best showcased with its performance with minimal charge time or even at low battery life, while guaranteeing safety among users for the overall smartphone productivity experience.

The latest SUPERVOOC flash charge technology on Reno6 5G offers 5 minutes of charging which grants you 4 hours of video playback.  Users can have battery charged from 0% to 25% in just 5 minutes, and fully charge the phone in 28 minutes. It evolved from “5-minute charge, 2-hour talk” to 65W SUPERVOOC 2.0’s  “5 minutes charging gives you 4 hours of video playback” – and this certainly goes back not only to fast and safe charging, but more importantly to the core of OPPO’s flash charging technology which is charging less and living more.

Q: How did SUPERVOOC evolve from VOOC?

In 2016, OPPO first introduced the SUPERVOOC concept. The origins of SUPERVOOC flash charge is ultimately drawn back to OPPO’s VOOC flash charging technology which is rooted on unrivalled performance with utmost safety. First launched and introduced in 2014, this was a time when the popularity of smartphones started booming and mobile phone batteries with a capacity of over 2500mAh became gradually popular, which was followed by users‘ increasing demands for faster charging speed. Thus, OPPO wanted to be ahead of the game by focusing on both fast and safe charging. 

To push the limits of fast charging while upholding the highest standard of safety, OPPO even introduced a five-fold safety protection system that provides end-to-end safety from the adapter plug through to the phone itself. It includes adapter overload protection, Flash Charge safety monitoring, device-side charging port overload protection, battery overload protection, and battery fuse protection.

Ultimately, as OPPO’s flash charging technology evolves, its core remains the same and this is all about maintaining a fast and safe charging experience for consumers.

Q: What would you say have been the milestones for your fast-charging tech?

In 2018, SUPERVOOC technology was first implemented on OPPO Find X Automobili Lamborghini Edition. This technology provides a maximum charging power of 50W and can fully charge a mobile phone with a battery capacity of 3,400 mAh in 35 minutes. 

In 2019, OPPO introduced 65W SUPERVOOC, capable of fully charging a 4000mAh battery in 30 minutes.

In July 2020, OPPO introduced 125W SUPERVOOC, able to charge a 4000mAh battery to 41% in 5 minutes, and fully charge it in just 20 minutes. 125W SUPERVOOC provides a quality user experience throughout as well, including ensuring that the phone does not exceed 40℃ while charging during standby. The system was certified by quality and safety verification organization TUV Rheinland.

Q: How do you see SUPERVOOC evolving?

As the world becomes more connected and more digital, OPPO’s flash charging technology, including the SUPERVOOC, will continue to evolve along with the changing consumer demand.

The core of OPPO’s flash charging technology is to enable consumers to create an all-round charging experience for our users. As we continue to progress further into a digital future, we will see more diverse modes of charging emerge. Charging technology will become smarter, fulfilling consumers’ needs under different charging scenarios.

Additionally, we do not want OPPO chargers to be as big as a bridge, thus a more compact and lightweight charger with higher power density is one of the focuses for R&D in the future. 

OPPO also launched a new project this year – The Flash Initiative – that brings OPPO proprietary VOOC technology to automobiles, and public spaces. VOOC flash charging is expected to broaden its application from phones to other hardware. – Rappler.com

Gelo Gonzales

Gelo Gonzales is Rappler’s technology editor. He covers consumer electronics, social media, emerging tech, and video games.