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API specs enable power efficient 4G phones

Posted: 07 Oct 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:power amplifier? API? envelope tracking? 4G?

The OpenET Alliance has detailed a new API specification for developing energy-efficient 3G and 4G phones. The organization aims to promote a more effective cooperation among semiconductor vendors, OEMs and EDA through its wide-band power optimization platform, noted Steven Baker, technical director of OpenET.

Envelope tracking is a key enabler for compact, power efficient 4G handsets. Without it, using traditional power supply architectures, 4G RF power amplifiers (PAs) will use up to 65 percent more energy than today's 3G PAs, OpenET stated. Using the technology based on the new OpenET API, manufacturers can rapidly develop 4G handsets that require 30-50 percent less energy and support a larger number of LTE frequency bands, the organization claimed.

The API document builds on the widely adopted OpenET hardware interface specifications for terminals. It defines an implementation-independent software interface between the high-level calibration, configuration and control functionality required for envelope tracking and the low-level transceiver and modulator hardware blocks. The specification is expected to speed development by enabling common software and firmware routines to be validated and deployed across EDA tools, development systems, test and calibration rigs and production hardware.

The API specification is owned by the OpenET Alliance Systems Working Group who will maintain and further develop the APIs. "In addition, the API document serves as a useful tutorial for engineers wishing to understand the impact of envelope tracking on the chipset firmware, as it is a self-contained document that describes all the hooks required to implement ET-enabled solutions for TX power control and calibration in a handset," added Baker.

The new API is available free to all members of the OpenET Alliance.

- Phil Ling
??EE Times

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