Waging the War on Power in 3G Mobiles

Posted on Feb 6, 2014

Consumers of mobile wireless devices expect a workable, real-world balance of performance and battery life. This is particularly applicable in third-generation (3G) wireless designs, due to the fact that these devices will house more powerful and feature rich multimedia capabilities. With processor performance (Moore`s law) doubling every 18 month

Waging the War on Power in 3G Mobiles
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s and communications system performance (Shannon`s Law) doubling every 8. 5 months, battery energy density has not kept up —it doubles every ten years. This highlights a significant technology gap. To bridge this supply/demand power gap, system engineers need to implement an arsenal of technologies ranging from process, software, and circuit innovations to meet the power requirements of 3G phones. Let`s look at some of the tools in this arsenal in more detail. To meet the demands of 3G mobiles, many OEMs are looking at a dual- or triple-processor architecture to handle baseband processing tasks. However, when examining architectures, a single chip, which combines cores for baseband and application processing, has obvious advantages over multi-processor designs. Having separate and independent processing resources requires a sophisticated inter-processor communication network to perform data exchange and control. The complexity of this approach increases with each processor added to a baseband design. Thus, inter-processor communication can become a formidable design challenge to software and hardware designers. The complexity of inter-processor communication networking overhead reduces the processing performance available for end-user applications and increases power consumption, which results in reduced battery life and usage time for the end user. In addition, monitoring for the presence of wireless networks requires...

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