Tag: lte advanced

Japanese firms partner for multi-standard mobile modem

A multi-standard modem has been developed by a group of Japanese electronics firms: DoCoMo, NEC, Fujitsu and Panasonic.

The companies teamed up to work on a modem that covers a variety of standards without requiring multiple chips to be housed in a mobile device.

Jointly working on the hardware and software’s intellectual property, the group came up with a a chip that will serve GSM, W-CDMA, HSPA+ and LTE standards.

With the transition to 4G connectivity in full swing, unless you are in Britain of course, the chip will make the jump less painful by catering for all needs.

By only needing to use one chip to ensure that a mobile device is able to connect to different networks, which could be a problem for business users abroad, there are efficiency bonuses in terms of power.

By operating on a single chip, power consumption is said to have been reduced by 20 percent when in use, as well as when on standby. Furthermore, there are inevitable reductions in costs by housing everything in one place.

However, the group noted that the standard for LTE Advanced is not currently part of the deal, though they are currently looking at technology that would allow for its development.

Testing for all major networks has now been completed, and the partners hope to begin commercialisation in Japan.

DoCoMo has been developing wireless technologies alongside other partners too, striking an agreement with Jasper Wireless to connect machine-to-machine (M2M) devices with consumer electronics.

The pair will look to create a new category of embedded wireless devices, with a likelihood of automotive applications in Japan.

ARM shares rise as it looks to LTE

ARM’s share price rose today as it highlighted its ongoing activity in supporting the move to LTE and LTE Advanced connectivity at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona.

Alongside its Partner Community, ARM set out its ambition to continue to provide processors for the next generation of mobile connectivity, claiming that it currently accounts for 95 percent of LTE baseband designs worldwide.

ARM claimed that with its architecture seeing widespread use over the past twenty years in 2.5G and 3G handsets, it is expected that this will continue into fourth generation technologies, while providing backwards compatibility for the previous generations.

LTE is currently looking like it will win in the battle against WiMax, with over 300 million subscribers expected by 2014, meaning ARM is very well placed.

“ARM technology has helped drive the 3G era by focusing on low power, high performance solutions for mobile applications,” commented ARM CEO, Warren East.

“We are proud to have been part of the mobile ecosystem by leading innovation in mobile technology, as well as helping to develop standards as the industry transitions from 2.5G and 3G to 4G connectivity.”

“We welcome the fact that the industry is now quickly moving to LTE technology, which will significantly enhance user experience. With the combined expertise and knowledge of the ARM Partnership, we will enable a better connected experience using LTE based on ARM technology.”

ARM points to its Cortex family of processors as being vital for the push towards the use of LTE, and in the run up to the MWC the firm announced plans for new Cortex products, the R5 and R7, that will focus on delivering a new range of LTE and LTE Advanced devices.

Members of ARM’s Partner Community, which includes Samsung, Renesas Mobile, Qualcomm and others also highlighted the importance that ARM has to play in the move to the next generation of mobile devices.

Intel Mobile Communications has successfully worked with ARM to produce market leading baseband solutions for the 2G and 3G markets,” said Prof. Dr. Hermann Eul, President of Intel Mobile Communications. Nice to see Intel loving ARM. And, of course, now Intel loves LTE.

“As we move into the next era of cellular technology, Intel Mobile Communications is ready to address future modem standards and ARM stays positioned as a partner for this. Cores such as the Cortex-R5 processor provide the performance that we envisage OEMs will require for LTE, and an upgraded roadmap as the market eventually transitions to LTE-Advanced.”

LTE will support 50-100 billion connected devices

Gerhard Fettweis, Vodafone chair professor, at the Technische Universitat Dresden delivered a talk called The Wireless Roadmap and said that in 10 years time as many as 100 billion cellular devices will be connected by 2020.

That’s based on the cellular standard LTE taking off in 2012, and LTE Advanced in 2015 or so.  The professor has already got an LTE Advanced testbed in the heart of Dresden, in cooperation with Qualcomm, Alcatel-Lucent, Infineon and other high tech companies.

He told the audience at the conference today that the 50 billion figure is an estimate by the telecomms companies but that they always underestimate the figures.

Tiny LTE chips will be built into all sorts of devices, ranging from lighting, to airport seats, and for machine to machine communication. And he forecasts that if the sums are right, future generations based on the LTE cellular standard – or 5G – will support 3D multimedia and virtual reality, the speed of the connections will be so great.


He said that in the future the industry will provide 100Gb/sec interconnects that could be used, for example, to connect together different boards in a device, each of those boards  using opto interconnects to give fast response times.


He said that by implementing LTE+ in the future, aircraft, for example would be able to provide wireless access points that connect the seats and providing fast inflight entertainment. An Airbus A380, for example, currently uses tons of cables for the inflight entertainment systems and that overhead would be very considerably reduced.

He had a warning for the semiconductor industry too. “Today if you want to go into the startup semiconductor business you’re asking for trouble. You have to be able to add 3D graphics, video codec, etc. etc. That’s $500 million development cost to build a chip. We wireless engineers came up with a data rate without asking you guys for the silicon. That slices it up, and changes everything. We’ve lost at least one order of magnitude. Today if you start a system company you either need a ton of money or be a platform provider.”

The university designed a chip called the Tomahawk as a research vehicle for LTE. The chip is 100 square millimetres, uses a 130 nanometre process, and is super low end technology. “Using the 45 nanometre CMOS process we can do it in 10 square millimetres. It rocks the boat of the industry.  With LTE we can fit everything in a quarter or maybe even one tenth of a chip,” he claimed.