Technology is an ever-growing industry and is consumed at a large scale. The subsequent energy consumption from the tech industry is also hitting peak levels. The technology industry has been working towards a sustainable future. Under the telecommunications industry, players like Qualcomm have proposed a complementary approach for reducing power consumption. Qualcomm’s approach states that power consumption can be optimised even when the network is actively transmitting.
Power Amplifiers Are a Major Source for Power Inefficiency
Qualcomm’s approach suggests that by improving the efficiency of a network’s power amplifier, the power consumption can be optimised. Power amplifiers are used with many margins to operate so that non-linear distortion can be avoided. This makes power amplifiers a major source of power inefficiency. Signal quality will be compromised if power amplifiers are moved to a more power-efficient operating point by reducing the margin. Qualcomm showed a combination of signal processing techniques to improve power amplifier efficiency. This alternative was demonstrated in existing base station hardware which goes to show that these solutions can be deployed without a hardware upgrade.
Digital Post Distortion is One of the Signal Processing Techniques
According to the Senior Director of Technology at Qualcomm Gideon Kutz, digital post distortion is a signal processing technique that, if used, can allow the power amplifier to move to a more power-efficient operating point. Using the digital post distortion method, the non-linear distortions created by power amplifiers in the base station can be rectified in the mobile station.
Thus, the signal quality will not be impacted. Gideon also stated that if Qualcomm’s approach is extrapolated across a network, there can be a genuine impact on both an operator’s operating expenses and at a large enough scale on environmental sustainability as well. Gideon Kutz also revealed that in many cases, it was observed that signal quality is actually better than the baseline, which allows for an increase in spectral efficiency.
Qualcomm’s demonstrations are a part of the vendor’s larger efforts to encourage different vendors and companies to develop algorithms that can be applied to a common energy consumption model for base stations. Such algorithms can provide a better network experience for users, lower operating expenses for operators and a more sustainable world for everyone.