31 Oct '12, 5pm

New tech could make your cell phone battery last twice as long

You probably have a sneaking suspicion that using your smartphone all the fricking time is wasting a fair bit of energy. And you’re right! And among all the energy-wasting parts of your phone, there’s one little gizmo — the power amplifier — that is a particular energy hog. The power amplifier, basically, just sits around spinning its wheels, waiting for you to use it. In theory, it could hang out in standby mode at low power levels, but it’s dumb, and it gets kind of confused when it has to switch out of standby to higher-energy activities. So most designers, says Technology Review , leave the standby energy pretty high. But a company called Eta Devices, which spun out of MIT, has figured out how to make the power amplifier less confused — and thus, more efficient. Here’s how they did it: The new advance is essentially a blazingly fast electronic gearbox. It chooses among...

Full article: http://grist.org/list/new-tech-could-make-your-cell-phone...

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