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November 2, 2012

Eta Devices develops new amplifier design to improve power efficiency in smartphones

The company plans to launch the new design in February 2013

By CBR Staff Writer

US based Eta Devices, a former MIT Technology Review company, has developed a new amplifier design which could increase the power efficiency of smartphones.

According to the MIT Technology Review, powering the cellular base stations globally consume $36bn worth of electricity each year – or to put it another way, 1% of all electricity consumed on the planet.

The new design, called asymmetric multilevel outphasing, is an electronic gearbox that selects through different voltages that can be sent across the transistor and chooses the one that minimises power consumption, and it does this as many as 20 million times per second.

The new design will perform the process both when transmitting and receiving when the gearbox sends out messages confirming when packets are received which are bits that make up a unit of Internet communications.

Eta Devices, which plans to launch its new design in February 2013 in Spain, anticipates that this new design can lead to smartphones using half the power they use today.

Eta Devices said that the initial market will be in the developing world, where 640,000 diesel-powered generators are used to power base stations, chewing through $15bn worth of fuel per year.

According to Eta Devices CEO Mattias Astrom, the new amplifier would reduce overall power consumption by half.

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Astrom said that as the global demand for data-rich communications surges, about a million new macro base stations are being deployed each year, most of them with LTE technology.

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