What if we had the technology today to make our smartphones run twice as longer in a single charge? Will you be willing to pay for it? Eta Devices, a startup company founded by two MIT professors, claims that it now has the technology to make it possible. Founders and MIT professors Joel Dawson and David Perreault says that the crux of our decades-old efficiency problem lies in the power amplifier. An amplifier, which turns electricity into radio signals, is used on smartphones and tablets.
The new amplifier design is currently being tested in the lab, but the company is planning to use its technology on LTE base stations next year. If proven to be successful, Eta Devices will then create a chip-scale version of the technology for smartphones and tablets. Power amplifiers utilize transistors which consume power either in standby mode or output mode. The company explains that the only way to improve the efficiency of these amplifiers is to use the lowest amount of standby power.
But since the sudden fluctuation from standby mode and output mode creates a distorted signal, other companies are forced to keep the standby power levels high, which wastes more electricity “It means you are pulling a lot of energy just to keep the thing on. And the more data you need to send, the worse it gets,” says co-founder Joel Dawson. “With high data rate communication, you wind up needing far more standby power than signal power. This is why the phone is warm.”