Company Creates New Power Amplifier Design in Smartphones for Greater Efficiency
November 1, 2012 9:59 PM
comment(s) - last by
The technology will first be used to address power base stations in developing countries, where diesel-powered generators consume billions of dollars of fuel per year
An MIT company has developed a new amplifier design that could significantly increase the
power efficiency of smartphones
Eta Devices, an MIT company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, gave the power amplifier inside smartphones a much-needed efficiency boost to help save electricity consumed around the world.
The power amplifier in a smartphone turns electricity into radio signals. They use transistors to consume power in either output signal mode or standby mode. The efficiency can only be improved if the lowest amount of standby power is used, but this has been tricky so far because using low-power standby mode and suddenly jumping to high-power output signal mode leads to distorted signals. So both modes are kept high.
The amplifiers waste over 65 percent of their energy, which leads to a warm, draining battery in phones that send huge files or stream video.
More charging per day
leads to more electricity used around the globe.
But Eta Devices is looking to change this. The company's new design, called asymmetric multilevel outphasing, is an electronic gearbox that chooses through
that can be sent across a transistor and pinpoints the one that decreases power consumption the most. It does this 20 million times per second.
The new design not only does this when transmitting, but also receiving. When receiving, the gearbox sends out messages confirming when packets are received and letting the network know when they haven't. Packets are bits that make up a unit of Internet communications.
Eta Devices is looking to launch its new design in February 2013 at the Mobile World Congress. The technology will first be used to address power base stations in developing countries, where diesel-powered generators consume billions of dollars of fuel per year. From there, this new design will tackle the smartphone market around the world. It wants to create a smartphone chip with a single power amplifier that can juggle many different modes and frequencies.
Eta Devices expects that this new design can lead to smartphones using half the power they use today.
MIT Technology Review
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
11/2/2012 11:03:25 AM
No offense, but it's funny watching people without electrical degrees try to talk about power electronics. Here is the real source for those interested.
The article is a little misleading on the implications of power amplifiers. "Power" is not meant to imply that is increases the power, all amplifiers do that in some form or another. It designates that the component is rated for high power applications. All transistors have heat loss and running more power through a transistor than it is rated for will smoke it. Regulars transistors are used for board level logic, power transistors would be used when you want to broadcast a wave signal out on an antenna.
The references to diesel generators are not really presented well either. This tech would make the cell tower equipment more efficient, not the diesel generators. It would reduce the load on the generators and the hope is that it would lead to reduced diesel fuel usage.
But it is far more likely is that the reduced operating cost will lead to more widespread deployment and stronger cell towers. History shows us that technology drives quality of live improvements and not resource conservation. The only things that drive resource conservation are politics and the availability of "better" resources.
RE: EE perspective
11/2/2012 11:56:27 AM
I was scratching my head too... the article reads like techno gibberish. Going from diesel generators to power amps to sending packets. Whaaa?
RE: EE perspective
11/2/2012 1:05:28 PM
It's a Tiffany Kaiser article. What did you expect?
She uses every opportunity to point out how bad it is to use fossil fuels. Expect the story to somehow, no matter how disconnected, have a negative view on them.
"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov
New Software Created to Estimate Battery Charge More Accurately
October 9, 2012, 8:30 PM
Nissan Talks About Leaf Battery Woes in Arizona
September 25, 2012, 8:53 AM
Quick Note: Facebook Wants to Make Your Mobile Photos Prettier
December 16, 2014, 11:50 PM
Apple Abandons Russia; Ruinous Ruble Run Sees 25% Inflation in a Single Day
December 16, 2014, 5:40 PM
BlackBerry Classic Sells Out Online (Seriously, It Has) for North America
December 15, 2014, 7:07 PM
Canada Probes Apple and Carriers Over Reports of Anticompetitive Deals
December 11, 2014, 5:45 PM
Nokia HERE Beta is Now Available for All Android Phones and Tablets
December 10, 2014, 1:40 PM
UK's Royal Mail Tests Holiday 3D Printing Service
December 9, 2014, 5:50 PM
Most Popular Articles
Air Force Worries Hot Fuel Could Harm F-35, "Proactively" Paints Trucks Shiny
December 11, 2014, 9:06 AM
Analysis: Discovery Channel's "Eaten Alive" was a Sham, But Could Lead to Real Discoveries
December 9, 2014, 3:11 PM
LaWS (Laser) "Kills" Boat-Hauled Fuel Tanks, UAV "Bomber" in the Persian Gulf
December 12, 2014, 8:31 PM
Lamborghini Offers Up $6,000 Leather-Bound Android Smartphone
December 12, 2014, 3:12 PM
Ford Announces QNX-Powered SYNC 3, Brags It's "More Smartphone-Like"
December 11, 2014, 10:32 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information