NEC's 45% efficient amplifier for 3G, LTE and WiMAX base units

  • Chicago (IL) - Most of us probably don't think about the signals routing from base stations to our mobile devices. However, NEC has developed a new harmonically tuned amplifier which achieves 45% efficiency on otherwise standard components.

    The advances in efficiency came from "adopting high performance and highly reliable RF transistor technologies, in addition to independently optimizing Doherty RF circuitry with harmonic tuning." Greater efficiency means less power consumption on continued use. NEC says for every 100 watts of input power, 45 watts of transmitted wireless power is generated, which is one of the world's highest efficiency levels for commercial equipment.

    NEC will be shipping the new amplifier within LTE equipment by the end of 2009. NEC is also looking to provide amplifiers to W-CDMA, LTE and WiMAX base station vendors throughout "expanding global markets."

    WiMAX (short for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) is a type of wireless broadband telecommunication technology capable of broadcasting over many miles at high speeds. Current 802.16 protocols provide for up to 72 Megabit/second transmit speeds over distances of 10 kilometers or more. WiMAX-m, an update to the 802.16 protocols, allows for Gigabit speeds.

    LTE is a general 4G use protocol which, in its present form, allows for very high 326.4 Megabits/second download speeds. LTE-Advanced, also an update to the original protocol, extends that range beyond 1 Gigabit/ second.

    W-CDMA is a notably slower, though in this country still reasonably adequate, protocol, offering a maximum of 384 Kilobits/second download speed, with some updated protocol extensions available allowing up to 2 Megabits/second.

    WiMAX has been a very sought-after technology by many companies because it has the ability to carry signals over much greater distances, allowing for fewer base stations, faster transmission rates, and an operating protocol stack similar to that of Wi-Fi. Over the past two years, however, we have seen WiMAX fail to take off. This has TG Daily wondering if it was not the result of competing companies affecting the adoption through business practices or other methods which have kept WiMAX out of consumer's hands -- as the ability to have Gigabit download wireless speeds at ranges up to 5+ miles is very advantageous.

    See NEC's press release.