July 31, 2010
Initially for dongles and data cards rather than handsets
Even as the debate about TD-LTE’s time lag compared to WiMax rages, an Israeli firm Altair Semiconductor has announced commercial availability of a TD-LTE terminal reference design for use in dongles, data cards, CPEs and handheld devices.
The design supports India’s spectrum band of 2.3GHZ (called band 40) as well as China’s band 38, and others that are being adopted in Japan, north America or Europe. Altair’s co-founder Eran Eshed told CNET that “In China and India, LTE will be the primary broadband pipe”.
On Altair’s decision to stop developing WiMax products, Eshed said “we ran with the product for 3.5 to 4 years to the point 6 months ago where we decided to halt investment…We just couldn’t find a market for it…There really isn’t a critical mass of equipment around WiMax”
Eshed said LTE will provide plenty of opportunities for Altair’s chips that revolve around Mi-Fi data points and broadband dongles.
In fact, the initial applications of TD-LTE in India would probably be on laptops and similar portables rather than handsets. Broadcom CEO Scott McGregor says the company’s baseband processors for LTE will first be employed mainly for data cards and USB adapters rather than for mobile phones.
He told TechOn: “At first, we will start from the data card market..the LTE standard allows high speed communication, but it increases power consumption. Therefore, it is more suited to adapters for PCs than to adapters for mobile phones. When power consumption is reduced by scaling down forming processes for baseband processors, mobile phones will be targeted.”