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I can’t say it’s really bugged me, but it’s always seemed strange that there is a bulge in my laptop charger right after the charger connects to the laptop. It can’t be an aesthetic decision to put a bulge in the middle of a streamlined piece of hardware and it certainly wouldn’t save money to add extra weight to the machine (building, raw materials, shipping costs would increase), so why does the charger have that little cylinder preinstalled?
Well the answer is quite simple actually. Every device that transports energy or deals in the transfer of energy gives off and picks up energy from different sources. The energy generated from the socket that powers your laptop is just enough to transmit radio waves. Also, the laptop charger that transports all that energy can also pick up radio waves of that frequency. All of this is called Electro-Magnetic Interference (EMI). So, of course, to reduce energy loss and white noise from random radio waves swimming around in the air, one needs a filter, the little cylinder.
It’s called a Ferrite Bead, an EMI filter or a Ferrite Core. It is specifically built to ward away radio waves and prevent energy loss of the same type from within the charger. This makes the charger much more efficient and helps charge your computer more quickly.
And you may have noticed that the Ferrite Bead is covered in what seems to be plastic casing. That’s just to protect it from damage. Of course there are ways to avoid the need for the Ferrite Bead but since it is relatively cheap to purchase and increases efficiency, it’s a welcome fix.