A group of MIT engineers spun out into a separate company called Eta Devices, and they claim they have found the recipe for long battery life and that’s a more efficient power amplifier.
Joel Dawson and David Perreault are currently working on the technology in the lab, but the plan is to make it commercial in 2013. The promise is big - battery performance on smartphones could double and LTE base stations might also slash their power footprint by half.
“There really has been no significant advance in this area for years. If you get 30 to 35 percent efficiency with today’s amplifiers, you are doing really well. But they can more than double that,” comments Vanu Bose from wireless tech startup Vanu.
Power amplifiers are built using transistors that basically have a standby and output modes. Efficiency cuts can happen only if you minimize standby power, and to do this Eta has created an electronic gearbox. It picks the minimum appropriate voltage as many as 20 million times each second. Such an approach tackles both the scenario when you send and receive data.
On smartphones, this could result in a single power amplifier regulating what CDMA, GSM and LTE use. In contrast, the current iPhone 5 uses five such amplifiers.
We are first to see Eta’s product at Mobile World Congress this February in Barcelona.
source: Technology Review