Power amplifier is a component in smartphones which consumes huge amounts of power, and usually wastes most of it. MIT engineering professors now claim that they have come up with a new power amplifier technology that can cut this power wastage to half.
ETA Devices is basically an MIT spin-off and had been co-founded by two MIT professors, David Perreault and Joel Dawson. Both have been working on a new design for the power amplifier that goes into a smartphone.
A standard power amplifier that is currently used in smartphones wastes more than 65 of the power it consumes. Most of this energy wastage happens during the standby mode. Although a device can be functional at low-power standby mode, the problem is that when it has to switch from low-power standby to a high-power mode where it has to transmit or receive data, this can result in signal distortion.
As a result, hardware vendors tune the amplifier so that even on standby mode, it is on a fairly high voltage level so as not to disturb the signals in any way. Dawson and Perreault have now created a new power amplifier technology called ‘asymmetric multilevel outphasing.’
By making use of this technology, the amplifier investigates multiple voltage options for the chip and chooses the one that is most power-efficient. Moreover, it does so at an extra-ordinary speed of 20 million times per second, thus rendering its calculations real-time and instant.
ETA Devices hopes that with this technology, they can lead the way to more energy-efficient smartphones as well as such universal power amplifiers which can handle all kinds and modes of frequencies. The company intends to publicly introduce its product based on this new technology in February, 2013.
Source: Technology Review
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