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13 November 2013

Eta launches GaN power amplifier to double mobile base-station efficiency

Fabless semiconductor firm Eta Devices Inc of Cambridge, MA, USA has announced availability of what it reckons is the most efficient power amplifier for mobile base stations, using new patented technology that exploits the performance capabilities of gallim nitride (GaN) switching power amplifiers (PAs), advanced supply modulation, and digital predistortion algorithms.  

“Our power amplifier architecture brings real sustainability to the world’s mobile operators,” claims co-founder & CEO Mattias Åström. “We deliver 70% drain efficiency for 4G LTE – an industry first,” he adds. “By deploying our solution, base-station efficiency is doubled compared to current state-of-the-art technology, which saves a tremendous amount of power.”

Eta Devices, which was spun off from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) but has an R&D office in Stockholm, Sweden, first demonstrated its new power amplifier technology at the 2013 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February.

“Until today, mobile operators have not been able to build genuinely sustainable mobile networks,” says MIT professor Joel Dawson, Eta’s co-founder & chief technology officer. “They have had no choice other than to focus on relatively minor sustainability initiatives such as changing the vehicle fleet to improve fuel economy, office recycling and substituting some flights with video conferences. While commendable, these initiatives have not touched on the operators’ core business of running mobile networks and as a result the impact has been relatively minor,” he adds. “Operators can now double the efficiency of their mobile networks and realize substantial reductions in power usage, resulting in a major reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions, and at the same time huge cost savings from using less power.”

On a global level, mobile networks consume about 120TWh of electricity per year. “If Eta Devices’ solution is deployed on a worldwide basis by mobile operators, it would result in a reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions equivalent to taking more than 7 million cars off the road,” says Åström. “It would also save mobile operators $18bn per year in utility costs, thereby paying for the replacement many times over.”

Dawson gave the presentation ‘Beyond Token Gestures - Delivering Sustainable Mobile Networks’ at the Telco Energy & Infrastructure Conference in London, UK (13 November).

See related items:

Cree and Eta to demo record-efficiency power amplifier for mobile base-stations

Tags: GaN HEMT

Visit: www.etadevices.com

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