iPhone 5: How It Could Have LTE But Keep Great Battery Life

The LTE power boosting technology of Quantance is out of the labs and in the hands of manufacturers of devices. The company said on Tuesday that it had started to ship samples of the qBoost chip to makers of handsets along with radio silicon vendors. More significant news is that they have got their first customer.

Is this what Apple was waiting for before including LTE support in iPhone 5?

The co-founder and CEO Vikas Vinayak said that he would not name the customer or any of the details regarding the deal due to confidentiality agreements, but he did say that this commitment would allow them to begin ramping up the production this year.

The company makes use of technology called envelope tracking. This allows them to get round one of the biggest limitations of LTE, the high peak to average ration. Typically this drains the battery power of a device and therefore limits the time users can spend talking and surfing the web on their handset. The power levels of LTE dip and rise, making it unique in radio interfaces when compared with 3G and 2G technology. VP, Jeremy Hendy, at the competing power supply vendor, Nujura said that you could look at 3G and 2G as being heavy metal, which is always loud, while on the other hand LTE is much like classical music in that is has long moments of quiet sounds that are than punctuated with crescendos that are wild.

This means the device amplifiers working on the LTE networks have to maintain a flow of power that is constant in order to be able to account for peaks, although for the majority of time the transmission would use far less energy. This is one of the main reasons why most of the devices on LTE have poor battery life. Envelope tracking wraps transmission in what could be likened to a latex bondage suit, and always matches the amps wattage output to power that is needed for the transmission.

Quantance have claimed that this envelope tracking tech stands out thanks to speed and being able to switch between high and low power modes which are 100 times faster than chips from competitors. They can not only boost battery efficiency and give users longer on their phones between chargers; they are also able to optimize LTE transmissions.

This means more persistence linking to the tower and more capacity. The company presented their product at the GigaOM Mobilize conference, which was held last year, where they won awards thanks to being the judges and the audiences favourite among 10 startups at the Launchpad event. In September they closed on funding of $11 from the TD Fund, Granite Ventures, InterWest Partners and DOCOMO Capital.

iPhone 5 to feature Quantance chip?

As for that secret customer, if we had to bet it would be Apple. The Cupertino based company takes battery life seriously and with the iPhone 5 expected to come with LTE support, we can’t think of a better chip than the Quantance.

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