Eta Devices Have Solution To Long Battery Lives On Smartphones

Imagine this.From now on you no longer have to worry about finding a electricity fix in order to get your smartphone charged every now & then.Won't that be great? Start-up company Eta Devices thinks that it might have a solution in the form of a new technology. The company, founded by a pair of MIT electrical engineering professors, Joel Dawson and David Perreault, has developed a new power amplifier design that results in twice the battery life for certain devices including smartphones.

Company develops technology that allows smartphones to run twice as long on one charge                            RF power amplifiers change low-power radio signals into high-power signals, but cellphones lose precious power because of the inefficient process in which that is done. Eta has a new technology that makes this a more efficient process although it still has a ways to go before that technology is available in handsets. It will first be seen early next year in LTE base stations before it can be used in something smaller like a smartphone. Currently, it cost $36 billion to power cellular base stations, consuming nearly 1% of global power consumption. 640,000 diesel-powered generators are used to power base stations at a price of $15 billion paid for fuel every year, and this is where Eta's new product will be first applied.

The 5 power amps on the Apple iPhone 5 (the red dots) account for 60% of the phone's power consumption
The 5 power amps on the Apple iPhone 5 (the red dots) account for 60% of the phone's power consumption
               The power amplifiers on your phone use power in two modes, output mode and standby. Using the lowest amount of standby power would improve efficiency, but switching from low-power standby to high-power output distorts the signal. Therefore the current technology calls for keeping the levels of standby power high, wasting a lot of electricity just to keep the power on. For high data rate communications, the device keeps more standby power than signal power and this is what makes your phone run hot. Eta's solution is to run different voltages across the transistor and the one with the lowest power consumption is selected. This is done an incredible 20 million times per second. Eta calls this process "asymmetric multilevel outphasing."

The eventual goal of the company is to replace the different power amplifiers on a smartphone with one power amplifier chip. On the Apple iPhone 5, for example, there are 5 such chips. Another power saving feature would be to reduce the number of transmissions your phone makes (your phone is always sending out transmissions even when you are merely downloading a video) to confirm the receipt of packets, or internet information.

Eta hopes to introduce it product in February at MWC in Barcelona, Spain.
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