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Why LTE drains so much battery


rwhittaker13
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First planned post of www.rcrproductions.org:

 

Why LTE devices struggle with decent battery life:

 

Phones today are becoming more and more vital to our daily life. Sending emails, surfing the web, or staying connected to loved ones, we just could not live without them. As carriers advance with their network technology, phones must keep up, right? Companies such as Verizon, Sprint, as well as AT&T are currently busy deploying their new 4G LTE networks. As these new networks are developed, phones have been made with LTE radios designed to operate on these networks, but many notice when connected to LTE, the battery life of the device is not as pretty as the speed of the network is. So many wonder, why does LTE drain so much battery?

 

The main reason why LTE eats your battery:

 

It all has to do with the function of the LTE radios. For now, most mobile service providers have not fully developed a technology called vOLTE (Voice Over Long Term Evolution). This technology allows voice related data to be transfered over the LTE network, instead of the fallback network(Usually with CDMA networks, or another sub network). Because this technology has not been fully developed, and deployed at the current time, phones are forced into a mode called "Active Dual Mode Operation". This mode forces the device to connect to a CDMA network, while connected to a LTE network.(CDMA networks used in this example belong to sprint, and verizon.) Since voice data can not be transfered over the LTE network, it is forced to be transfered only over the CDMA network, while only data is transmitted through the LTE network. Because two constant connections are being made at one time by the radios, this draws much more power from the device. If vOLTE technology were developed, battery life in some devices may increase when connected to the LTE network, since the radios would only have to be connected to one network to transmit both voice and data.

 

The best way to avoid excessive battery drain in LTE devices:

 

This is much simpiler than it may seem, but the fact is that most devices will prioritize a better network over a worse network. LTE networks are much faster than 3G networks, so the first signal a LTE device will search for is LTE. If an LTE signal is not present, the device will constantly continue to search for the network until it can successfully connect. This of course deteriorates battery life. The best recommendation is to not have LTE turned on in the settings of the device, if an LTE network has not yet been deployed in the area.

 

Conclusion:

 

As explained, LTE devices are the new face to a better and brighter networking experience. Some wondered why LTE devices draw more power when connected to an LTE network. The easiest answer to this: With some benifits, comes not as expected perfect results.

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I get better battery life when connected to LTE versus EVDO. This has been the case with both the Galaxy S3 and the EVO LTE.

 

Phones older than these two had a separate radio for LTE, so I could see that as being an additional power draw.

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This seems like the reason LTE phones are able to save battery on cdma networks. They turn it off and go to 1x when the screen is off. Last thing I would want is LTE burning up the battery all the time.

 

With new qualcomm phones the radios are all on the same chip so the battery drain is similar to keeping a wifi radio on all the time, not much.

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Conclusion:

 

As explained, LTE devices are the new face to a better and brighter networking experience. Some wondered why LTE devices draw more power when connected to an LTE network. The easiest answer to this: With some benifits, comes not as expected perfect results.

 

Your sweeping conclusion misses the mark in many respects. And I suspect that your conclusion is based on your experience with the Galaxy Nexus, which is an aged, compromised design because of its choice of multiple chipsets.

 

In devices such as the EVO LTE and Galaxy S3, both of which use a single 28 nm SoC for processor and CDMA2000/LTE modem, battery drain is not significantly greater in LTE mode.

 

So, I would suggest that you revise your post to explain "Why LTE drains so much Galaxy Nexus battery."

 

AJ

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Your sweeping conclusion misses the mark in many respects. And I suspect that your conclusion is based on your experience with the Galaxy Nexus, which is an aged, compromised design because of its choice of multiple chipsets.

 

In devices such as the EVO LTE and Galaxy S3, both of which use a single 28 nm SoC for processor and CDMA2000/LTE modem, battery drain is not significantly greater in LTE mode.

 

So, I would suggest that you revise your post to explain "Why LTE drains so much Galaxy Nexus battery."

 

AJ

Exactly

 

Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk 2

 

 

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I definitely noticed great battery improvement using Baltimore's largely NV network compared to DC's hybrid, pre-historic network. So if anything, when NV is fully rolled out (aka novice users notice LTE) to a market there should be a corresponding improvement in battery life.

 

Then again, I may just be crazy.

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Your sweeping conclusion misses the mark in many respects. And I suspect that your conclusion is based on your experience with the Galaxy Nexus, which is an aged, compromised design because of its choice of multiple chipsets.

 

In devices such as the EVO LTE and Galaxy S3, both of which use a single 28 nm SoC for processor and CDMA2000/LTE modem, battery drain is not significantly greater in LTE mode.

 

So, I would suggest that you revise your post to explain "Why LTE drains so much Galaxy Nexus battery."

 

AJ

Question then (that I'll just ask here instead of googling it myself! laziness ho!)

 

Does the Exynos 4 that's in the Note II, also include similar technology as the Quallcomm-based chipsets? Does the Note II et. al. have any issue with battery drain while on LTE? I imagine Samsung was smart about these things, but you never know...

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You guys confuse processors and chipsets just like you confuse antennas with radios and cell towers with cell sites.

 

The Note2 still has a Qualcomm chipset. It's CDMA afterall, thankfully there is no VIA garbage chipset here like the Galaxy Nexus uses.

 

I haven't had the opportunity to burn the phone on LTE all day but I can tell you I forgot to charge my phone one evening and half way into the following day I saw I had 50% battery. I immediately thought something was wrong as 50% gone with only 10 hours!? When I went into the battery screen I quickly realized I had been off the charger for more than 30 hours. This was with LTE mode turned on too.

 

I would expect the same out of the LTE usage.

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Does the Exynos 4 that's in the Note II, also include similar technology as the Quallcomm-based chipsets? Does the Note II et. al. have any issue with battery drain while on LTE? I imagine Samsung was smart about these things, but you never know...

 

All other factors being equal, Exynos 4 will not be as power efficient as Qualcomm Krait for several reasons. As digiblur correctly points out, Exynos is just a processor, while Krait can be configured as a processor + modem on single SoC. Thus, Exynos automatically requires a standalone baseband modem chipset to partner with its processor. Additionally, Exynos is built on a 32 nm process, Krait on a 28 nm process. So, Krait will have a slight advantage there.

 

For some concrete examples, compare the EVO LTE and Galaxy Note 2. In the EVO LTE, the Krait MSM8960 single SoC covers processor, modem, WLAN, Bluetooth, and GNSS. In the Galaxy Note 2, the Exynos 4 covers the processor, a standalone Qualcomm MDM9615 covers the modem and GNSS, finally a Broadcom BCM4334 chipset covers WLAN and Bluetooth.

 

So, Exynos designs require at least one additional chipset (modem), and the Galaxy Note 2 actually uses two extra chipsets (modem and WLAN/Bluetooth).

 

AJ

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Lets not forget about data rate contributions. Higher data rates equate to higher switching rates which means higher power. Every transition from 1 to 0 and 0 to 1 in the data stream requires energy. The more bits per second, the more energy you are using. The higher rates usually also require more advanced clocking techniques for Phase Locked Loops (PLL) and such. Operating CMOS logic in saturation regions can only achieve certain frequencies. When you cross a barrier which is determined by the underlying technology, you need to transition to Current Mode Logic (CML) which is analog in nature and burns a lot of power. Now these barriers might have been crossed before now but its something to keep in mind. Put more simply, higher data rates equals higher power.

 

Let me also expand a bit on why using an external chip set, in the case of the Exynos, is bad thing. Current commercial technologies like 32nm and 28nm run 1v and below for the core logic. If you want to talk to another chip, you need to level convert to a higher voltage such as 1.8v or 2.5v. Power = Voltage * Current, so increase voltage and you are increasing power. If you can combine logic into a single ASIC or SoC as they are called these days, you can eliminate the need to level convert and reduce your power consumption.

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Also not being said, the faster you download something the more the phone can go into a deep sleep. If you're in an area that with a saturated tower and it takes your phone over 2-3 minutes to sync your email every 30 minutes then when LTE fires up you see it takes 10-15 seconds to sync you'll notice a increase in battery life. All depends on how you use your phone.

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You guys confuse processors and chipsets just like you confuse antennas with radios and cell towers with cell sites.

My apologies for confusing the Exynos "System on a Chip" with a "chipset". :P Really, all I was asking was if Exynos included some kind of baseband radio like Krait, etc does. As you have pointed out, it does not.

 

At any rate, that's why I ask questions. So I can figure out what's right.

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My apologies for confusing the Exynos "System on a Chip" with a "chipset". :P Really, all I was asking was if Exynos included some kind of baseband radio like Krait, etc does. As you have pointed out, it does not.

 

At any rate, that's why I ask questions. So I can figure out what's right.

 

No complaints here on battery life.

 

-- "Sensorly or it didn't happen!"

 

 

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Wow soo much wrong with the conclusion being made here in the OP, all with zero facts to back it up...

 

ONLY way you could say having LTE on is bad is if you were in a no LTE signal area, and the LTE power on the device was cranked out of this world, and scan time was set to a insane low value..... Then maybe you might see a difference...

 

Like AJ said the Qualcomm SoC at 28nm and integrated radios is much better than the separate chip devices for handling radios implementation like the thunderbolt...

 

The fact that people still have this etched in their brain is frustrating at the least... All steams from the wimax ordeal as back then if u swapped out LTE with WiMax in this post then it would be more accurate.

 

 

Word is that Sammy's next SoC has integrated radios as well I believe too... Might be the next series after the one coming up but swear I read that somewhere.... I'm not a sammy fan anyway, still wiring on the next SoC from Qualcomm here really...

 

Sent from my EVO using Tapatalk 2

 

 

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Word is that Sammy's next SoC has integrated radios as well I believe too... Might be the next series after the one coming up but swear I read that somewhere.... I'm not a sammy fan anyway, still wiring on the next SoC from Qualcomm here really...

 

Sent from my EVO using Tapatalk 2

 

The Exynos 5 series (aka 5250 A15 dual core ala Nexus 10 + chromebook and exynos 5450 A15 quad core [GS4 / GN3?]) will have everything integrated on chip like the Snapdragon. Right now, the Exynos 5250 in the chrome book / nexus 10 literally takes every single SoC out there (including apples custom designed one) and drags it on the floor.

 

The 5450 is going to be in the Galaxy S4 / Galaxy Note 3 and there will be no questions about it. Both entered mass production in Q2/Q3 2012 on the 28nm process. Keep in mind, this chip was designed to fix what the 4 series could not do, mainly LTE compatibility issues (the 4 were really made with South Korea LTE in mind) and focus on power efficiency.

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The Exynos 5 series (aka 5250 A15 dual core ala Nexus 10 + chromebook and exynos 5450 A15 quad core [GS4 / GN3?]) will have everything integrated on chip like the Snapdragon. Right now, the Exynos 5250 in the chrome book / nexus 10 literally takes every single SoC out there (including apples custom designed one) and drags it on the floor.

 

The 5450 is going to be in the Galaxy S4 / Galaxy Note 3 and there will be no questions about it. Both entered mass production in Q2/Q3 2012 on the 28nm process. Keep in mind, this chip was designed to fix what the 4 series could not do, mainly LTE compatibility issues (the 4 were really made with South Korea LTE in mind) and focus on power efficiency.

 

This right here is why I'm worried Qualcomm/HTC is going to struggle this year more so IF they go with the APQ SoC in devices mostly as that thing has been in production for awhile now and would put Sammy above them too given their chipset offerings this year...

 

Need the next gen krait SoCs to get going badly to stay ahead of everyone... I believe sammy is working on 22nm also while Qualcomm has been quiet on that front...

 

Sent from my EVO using Tapatalk 2

 

 

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Your sweeping conclusion misses the mark in many respects. And I suspect that your conclusion is based on your experience with the Galaxy Nexus, which is an aged, compromised design because of its choice of multiple chipsets.

 

In devices such as the EVO LTE and Galaxy S3, both of which use a single 28 nm SoC for processor and CDMA2000/LTE modem, battery drain is not significantly greater in LTE mode.

 

So, I would suggest that you revise your post to explain "Why LTE drains so much Galaxy Nexus battery."

 

AJ

My apologies. I am getting quite confused on many aspects of how networks work though.
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The Exynos 5 series (aka 5250 A15 dual core ala Nexus 10 + chromebook and exynos 5450 A15 quad core [GS4 / GN3?]) will have everything integrated on chip like the Snapdragon. Right now, the Exynos 5250 in the chrome book / nexus 10 literally takes every single SoC out there (including apples custom designed one) and drags it on the floor.

 

I have not seen any solid evidence that Exynos 5 will include baseband modem, WLAN/Bluetooth, and GNSS all on chip. Can you cite a source?

 

Regardless, if true, the modem easily could be 3GPP only (LTE/W-CDMA/GSM), not 3GPP2 (CDMA1X/EV-DO). Even if it were to include 3GPP2 capability, it would be immediately suspect. Samsung handsets that have bypassed Qualcomm have had notably poor CDMA2000 performance. Like it or not, Qualcomm is the first and last word in CDMA2000 mobile chipsets.

 

Samsung is trying too hard to be vertically integrated, paring its smartphone production supply chain down to few, if any outside suppliers. That may be good for the bottom line, but it is not good for consistent quality, as Samsung has to be a jack of all trades, master of none.

 

AJ

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Decent SoC announced yesterday at CES by Qualcomm.... Says should see the Snapdragon 800 I'd devices 2nd half of the year and the 600 a lil earlier I believe... The 600 is like the S4 Pro with integrated radios and lil clock bump...

 

Saw it on engadget btw but lost the link... Looking forward to anandtech breakdown of the SoCs as they seem at first glance to be solid pieces imho... All around improvements....

 

Question is.... When will sprint get this into a device and IF they can manage to get it into the EVO upcoming long as that happens...

 

Sent from my EVO using Tapatalk 2

 

 

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A few bullet point specs of the 800

 

Quad Core Krait 400 CPU at speeds up to 2.3 GHz, per core

Adreno 330 GPU

2x32bit LPDDR3 RAM at 800MHz

4G LTE Cat 4 and 802.11ac support

UltraHD resolution support (4096 × 2304)

Support for DTS-HD, Dolby Digital Plus and 7.1 surround sound

Dual Image Signal Processors (ISPs) up to 55MP

Up to 75% better performance than the Snapdragon S4 Pro

 

 

Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk 2

 

 

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Decent SoC announced yesterday at CES by Qualcomm.... Says should see the Snapdragon 800 I'd devices 2nd half of the year and the 600 a lil earlier I believe... The 600 is like the S4 Pro with integrated radios and lil clock bump...

 

Saw it on engadget btw but lost the link... Looking forward to anandtech breakdown of the SoCs...

 

This is a start...

 

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6568/qualcomm-krait-400-krait-300-snapdragon-800

 

AJ

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This is a start...

 

http://www.anandtech...-snapdragon-800

 

AJ

 

and a lil interview with Mr Raj himself....

 

http://www.engadget.com/2013/01/08/qualcomm-interview/

 

50+ products already being designed based on the 800 and see first of them in customers hands starting in 2nd half this year....

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