As the mobile network struggles to cope with the growing level of traffic and pressures on CAPEX, the RF electronics of a typical base station design are subject to great innovation namely in the form of tower mounted amplifiers, remote radio heads, and active antennas.
Agilent Technologies Inc. announced that AT4 Wireless Test Systems’ business assets are now part of Agilent. The two companies had announced an acquisition agreement on July 16. Financial details were not disclosed.
Mobile Experts released a report that predicts a new future for base station semiconductors. In particular, the number of base station transceivers will grow to more than 17 million per year by 2017. Increasing bandwidth requirements, MIMO, and carrier aggregation will drive growth in key semiconductor components. The new report, "Semiconductors for Macro Transceivers and RRH," gives a detailed analysis of these trends.
U.S. PMI data for July 2012 stays flat at 49.8 from 49.7 in June 2012, this is indicative of a wider global malaise that is mirrored by not only other regional PMI index’s but also the results of major Semiconductor vendors. Lack of manufacturing capacity for key components coupled with the lack of investment in new fab space mean that this problem is likely to continue for a number of months and will eventually limit the availability of key flagship mobile products.
The Agilent Power of X application notes provide insight into solving tough measurement problems in a unique way for both the design and manufacturing environments. The new “Solutions for Enabling Fast, Accurate and Efficient Testing of Voice Quality in LTE User Equipment (UE)” 5991-0794EN, available now, offers information into how to best address the long list of test requirements when testing the voice quality of LTE UE with the right VoIP test building blocks.
Mesuro, the Cardiff University spin-out that offers testing and services solutions for the semiconductor industry, announced completion of a £700k funding round to expand its overseas sales and device characterisation capabilities.
A U.S. election year combined with uncertain European financial fundamentals has clouded the economic outlook for the North American market. However, mobile operators are busily preparing their networks for next generation 4G services. “North American mobile cellular capital expenditure is expected to hold its ground in 2012 year-on-year, with expenditure of around US$ 10 billion”, said Jake Saunders, VP for forecasting at ABI Research.
Handset shipments have not seen a sequential YoY decline since the global economic crisis of 2008-2009. Although seasonality regularly brings a negative impact in Q2, the economic crisis in Western Europe has compounded the issue, leading to an uncommon annual contraction of handset shipments for two consecutive quarters,” say ABI Research senior analyst Michael Morgan.