Patent published on September 7, 2023

Qualcomm's New Patent Could Make Your Snapdragon Phone Use Less Energy

Our gadgets and gizmos are gradually taking up more and more of our daily lives, but the downside is that they also increase our energy consumption. In response, Qualcomm, the massive technology company, has recently acquired a patent (US20230284135A1) with a possible solution.

Telecommunication companies and device manufacturers have been striving to reduce energy usage by adopting renewable energy resources or revamping hardware designs. However, such efforts often come with a hefty price tag – buying and installing new equipment along with labor and transportation costs. Not to mention the disruption these alterations could cause to normal operations. Here, Qualcomm's patent offers a lifeline – a solution that focuses on the operating protocols of the system that doesn't require dramatic changes to current network architectures.

The main idea behind Qualcomm's patent is to introduce various energy saving modes in the machine at a network station, essentially serving as a 'power diet' for both the station and the devices connected to it, like your phone or laptop. It's a bit like teaching your devices a more efficient way to communicate with these stations, saving energy on both ends of the conversation.

The patent even gets down into the nitty-gritty of things, talking about how optimizing the number of "scheduling requests" or SRs at a base station can help reduce energy consumption. Scheduling requests, the communication instances between your device and the network station, appear more or less frequently depending on traffic loads. By bringing down the number of SRs, devices and the network could converse in a more energy-efficient manner.

In Qualcomm's blueprint, different energy saving modes are paired with different “bandwidth part” configurations, helping the base station switch energy modes more efficiently and reduce latency. It's like having a Swiss army knife of energy saving techniques, ready to come into play depending on the different demands of a device.

Quite notably, this patent is expected to have the most impact on Qualcomm's own Snapdragon Mobile Platforms.

Interestingly, Qualcomm's plans align well with the global push towards reducing our carbon footprint. If successfully implemented, we can expect an enormous wave of change, not only for tech enthusiasts who continuously demand higher performing devices but for every person who owns a smartphone.

Imagine, charging our devices less frequently and still enjoying a seamless experience. Public spaces with lesser need for charging ports, airports without passengers desperately huddled near outlets, and probably even a significant decrease in the number of 'low battery' warnings one sees in a day!

On a larger scale, it can result in a drastic reduction in energy consumption in telecommunication networks, contributing positively to our constant struggle against climate change.

However, it’s important to note that this wonderful innovation is still just a patent. And while its potential is indeed exciting, there isn't any assurance that this product would make its way into the market. It's like a sneak peek into a future that could be, but isn't promised. For now, we can only sit back and hope that this patent becomes a reality that powers, or rather, 'low-powers' our devices.

Explore more