IBM chips simplify, reduce cost of mobile phones

CMOS semiconductor technology aims to make handhelds more affordable

IBM has designed new semiconductor technology that will make it easier and cheaper to build cell phones, potentially extending the reach of mobile technology to the Third World.

While a typical American, European or Japanese person owns a cell phone already, most citizens of developing nations do not, says Ken Torino, director, of IBM's Foundry Products.

"The rest of the world is at about 30 percent penetration. There's a big drive there to get lower and lower cost cell phones," Torino says.

The semiconductor technology is called CMOS 7RF SOI and is being unveiled today by IBM at the annual FSA Suppliers Expo and Conference in Santa Clara, Calif.

IBM says its new product will integrate multimode/multiband RF switches, complex switch-biasing networks and power controllers into a single chip. Current cell phones use about three chips for these purposes, Torino says.

Development costs will be lowered by a dollar per phone, which Torino said is significant because a billion cell phones are sold each year.

"There's a never-ending drive for lower cost, lower power, higher function, he says. "A buck is actually a lot. People kill for pennies in this business."

American consumers won't notice a whole lot of difference. Smaller chips might help developers make smaller phones, but consumers are already frustrated by small screen sizes, Torino notes. The better semiconductor technology will save space inside phones, though, letting developers add more features, he says.

Design kits will become generally available the first half of 2008, according to IBM.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jon Brodkin

Network World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?