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Breakthrough in Cellphone Amplifier Tech to Save 50% of Battery Life

by Todd Haselton | November 1, 2012November 1, 2012 12:00 pm PDT


Researchers at a company named Eta Devices, which was created by two MIT professors, have discovered a breakthrough in cellular amplifier technology that could help our cell phone batteries last twice as long, MIT Technology Review said recently. The site said that our current cell systems cost $36 billion per year because the amplifiers are so inefficient. In fact, your phone will typically lose battery very quickly if you don’t have a full signal and it’s trying to reach out to a cellular tower. Have you ever noticed, for example, how quick your battery dies when you’re underground in a subway? That’s because your phone is desperately looking for a signal and consuming as much power as possible to do so.

“There really has been no significant advance in this area for years,” the founder of another startup, Vanu, told MIT Technology Review. “If you get 30 to 35 percent efficiency with today’s amplifiers, you are doing really well. But they can more than double that.” The new technology is capable of choosing the appropriate voltage so that you’re not wasting battery when you don’t have to. “The transmitter is very active, even when you are downloading a YouTube video—not many consumers realize that,” Eta Device’s co-founder Professor Joel Dawson explained. Worse, devices such as the iPhone 5 have five such power amplifiers, but Eta Devices thinks it can slim that figure down to one efficient amplifier.

The company hopes to target emerging markets first and will officially announce its product at this year’s Mobile World Congress show.

[via MIT Technology Review]

Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...