Thanks to a breakthrough by Purdue researchers, 5G cell phones may be hitting shelves in the near future.
Saeed Mohammadi, an associate professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue, is leading a team of doctoral students that recently published their research. What he and his team have done is, for the first time, create power amplifiers (components commonly used in cell phones) using silicon technology that are efficient enough to be suitable for 5G cell phones.
Compared to the 4G standard, 5G will require more bandwidth and faster processing, which naturally requires more power. Achieving more power while keeping the components small used to be considered too difficult a task for current silicon technology, so the phone industry turned to expensive gallium arsenide, the material that makes up power amplifiers in 4G cell phones. Purdue researchers, however, found that silicon components can indeed reach the required power when put together correctly.
Mohammadi said that his research will allow smaller components to be created. He used the analogy of television, describing how old box TVs used to be large because of the scattered parts inside of it. Modern TVs are smaller because everything inside is a single package, much like an integrated circuit.
The implications of this research are hard to say for certain, as explained by Mohammadi and one of his doctoral students, Yingheng Tang.