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Powering down

Minimising power consumption has become a hot discussion topic. By Brent Rowe, Jeff Corbin and Ken Murphy.

One of the critical demands faced by wireless designers is reducing the power requirements in new portables whilst meeting demand for increased functionality and smaller form factor. Challenges include increasing battery life, decreasing system voltage, increasing microprocessor speed and distributing power more efficiently.
Historically, the mobile ’phone was largely used in transmit, standby or off modes. However, 2.5G and 3G bandwidth improvements and continued miniaturisation trends allow for the creation of a computational mode.
In order to maximise the lifetime of the battery for a wireless device with features such as a digital still camera (dsc), personal digital assistant (pda), MP3 or gps, it is important to understand how often each feature would be used. Let’s assume that a given user has the ’phone turned off for 7.5hours when they sleep; makes calls for 1hr; and uses the computational modes of dsc, MP3, pda, and gps for 0.3, 1.2, 1.5 and 0.8hr respectively. For the remaining 11.8hr, the ’phone is in standby mode.

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Vanessa Knivett

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