Quantance’s LTE power-boosting tech has been let out of the labs and is heading to phone makers according to the San Mateo, Calif. power supply start-up. It’s started to ship samples of the qBoost chips to phone makers and radio silicon sellers, and more importantly it claims to have its first customer.
Prediction: iPhone 5 to feature battery-friendly Quantance 4G LTE chip
CEO and co-founder Vikas Vinayek refused to name the customer or divulge any details of the deal due to confidentiality agreements, but apparently the deal means that Quantance can expand production this year.
Quantance uses a technology called envelope tracking to beat one of LTE’s biggest problems – the high peak-to-average ratio which saps battery power, reducing talk and surf time on smartphones. LTE is different to other radio interfaces because its power levels rise and fall much more during transmission than 3G and 2G. Jeremy Handy, VP at competitor Nujira summed it up: You should think of 3G and 2G as heavy metal – a constant noise level – whereas LTE is more like classical music with pauses, quiet moments and then loud crescendos.
So, LTE device amplifiers need to keep a constant supply of power to take these peaks into account despite some of the transmission not needing that power. This is why LTE devices like the HTC Thunderbolt have such poor battery life. Envelope tracking tech wraps the transmission up in the power equivalent of a rubber bondage suit – constantly matching the wattage from the amp to the power needed for the transmission.
Quantance says that its envelope tracking tech is faster than its rivals, switching between low and high power 100 times faster than other chips. This means Quantance can not only improve battery life of LTE phones and tablets, but it can also optimise the LTE transmission, which means a better link to the tower.
While Vinayek won’t divulge who their customer is for their new 4G LTE chip, rumors point towards Apple and the upcoming iPhone 5 which is expected to come with 4G LTE support just like the New iPad introduced earlier this year. Apple has always taken battery life seriously so if they do roll out with an iPhone 5 with 4G LTE capabilities this year, you can bet it won’t be the usual run-of-the-mill LTE chipset.