Light Reading
4:45 PM Sanjay Jha (formerly) of Motorola sees 4G gold in LTE-Advanced, but getting startups in on the game won't be so easy

Spare a Dime for Analog?

Craig Matsumoto
Valley Wonk
Craig Matsumoto
1/4/2013
50%
50%

4:45 PM -- Analog engineering is hard. Digital isn't always easy, but it's more methodical; analog tends to be a black art, based on gut feel and experience. So, it's not surprising to hear Sanjay Jha, former CEO of Motorola Mobility, say that analog chips -- antennas and the analog front-end -- would be good territory for startups to mine when it comes to LTE-Advanced. Jha was on an LTE-Advanced panel at Thursday's Trend Spotting2 Technology Summit, put on by Cowen and Co. (The "2" is there because it's the second time they've put this on.) LTE-Advanced is the next step in 4G wireless, of course, and it lets a mobile device combine up to five carriers (a "carrier" in the sense of one radio signal, or a chunk of spectrum) for speeds up to 100 Mbit/s. (See Meet the Next 4G: LTE-Advanced.) And it sounds like it's going to come with some difficulties, particularly as more combinations of carriers come into use. The point wasn't to discourage the audience of investors. In fact, it was the opposite: showing them that LTE-Advanced presents questions that new companies could try to answer. "It is possible to continue to make money in wireless business, and therefore, it is worth taking all the risk and all the complexity this industry is facing," Jha said. But to his point about chips: The smartphone is dominated, in terms of physical layout, by what Jha grouped as "passives," meaning, antennas and front-end analog components. These items can't be integrated yet. "If I were looking to invest a dramatic amount of money to improve the performance of a handset right now, that's where I'd look," Jha said. It sounds like a good theory. But there's something else to consider. At the same conference, I ran into Yoon Choi, who's in corporate business development for Maxim Integrated, an analog chip company with a market capitalization near $9 billion. She's helped start a venture-funding division of Maxim, partly because venture capital for semiconductor startups has been so difficult to come by. Hardware remains a hard sell among VCs. It's true that there are interesting problems waiting to be solved, but I'm not sure that means something like analog chip design is going to get the funding it deserves. Jha had a good point about the potential, but it's more likely that established companies would have to foot the bill for the innovation he's seeing. In fact, he mentioned a second LTE-Advanced category that probably has more venture-funding appeal: the management of all those small cells that are going to be scattered around the network. — Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, Light Reading

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
lr-mobile-DanJones
50%
50%
lr-mobile-DanJones,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/7/2013 | 5:59:48 PM
re: Spare a Dime for Analog?
Shrinking down the antenna array for smartphones is likely where the money is.
More Blogs from Valley Wonk
Comcast joins Google in asking for a flexible-rate optical standard, rather than 400G or terabit, but that's easier said than done
Cisco, Juniper and other more traditional Interop speakers might get overshadowed by the forces of virtualization
The Open Networking Summit has climbed the hype curve, but the conference should cling to its roots as a techie discussion forum for software-defined networking
The coalition's chairman says all these companies plan to further the SDN cause and don't have a 'nefarious' angle
Big vendors are reportedly banding together to unify SDN's approach but is it more about steering the conversation?
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
Jonestown
Mobile Backhaul: Going to the Dark Side?

10|30|14   |   2:26   |   (1) comment


Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan shares his view on a dark trend that bubbled up at Light Reading's annual backhaul conference in NYC.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With CEO of SwitchCom

10|30|14   |   4:13   |   (0) comments


SwitchCom, an IT company based in Angola, recommends a variety of Huawei solutions and hardware to their customers in the energy industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy

10|30|14   |   4:08   |   (0) comments


Gosaye Mengistie of Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy discusses the collaboration with Huawei in that country.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Dongfang Electronics Corporation

10|30|14   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Dongfang Electronics Corporation, headquartered in Chengdu, China, is one of China's largest manufacturers of power generators and contractors of power station projects.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Zimbabwe's Customers

10|30|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


Representatives of Zimbabwe's Ministry of Power and Development discuss the energy needs of their country as well as new areas of improvement due to enhanced ICT capabilities.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Colbún Chile

10|30|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


In Chile, an aging energy infrastructure was in dire need of a modern update. Claudio Valenzuela of Colbún discusses how Huawei's ICT solutions continue to provide crucial information to improve the grid and how an in-country engineer is a cricial asset.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With YuLiao

10|30|14   |   6:27   |   (0) comments


Yu Liao, chairman of the Chinese Association for Renewable Energy in Germany, discusses the role that ICT solutions play in helping to grow renewable energy resources in Germany.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview

10|30|14   |   2:54   |   (0) comments


Sifang has been working with Huawei on several projects. JingTao Wu, Assistant President of Beijing Sifang Automation Co. Ltd., believes that the cooperation with Huawei can facilitate Sifang's process of internationalization.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
A Better Connected Smart Grid: Powering Laos

10|30|14   |   5:38   |   (0) comments


Representatives of Electricite Du Laos (EDL), a state-owned corporation, discuss the importance of ICT solutions in serving their country's energy needs.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Junwei Lu

10|30|14   |   4:50   |   (0) comments


Professor Junwei Lu of Griffith University Australia describes his work with micro grid technology and the future of the power industry.
LRTV Documentaries
The Next-Gen Network Disconnect

10|29|14   |   01:23   |   (2) comments


There's a lot of talk about making networks more simple with SDN, NFV and next-gen broadband technology – but what about the complexity of introducing such capabilities?
LRTV Custom TV
Grow Your VPN Service Revenue

10|27|14   |   4:00   |   (0) comments


Watch how CSP product managers can better differentiate and maximize the value of their Internet, VPN and cloud services for business services customers, by adding premium application performance visibility to their data services.
Upcoming Live Events
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 30, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Microsoft's Skype Embraces WebRTC on IE
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/27/2014
FTC Slaps AT&T With Throttling Lawsuit
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/28/2014
Wheeler Gets Down With OTT
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/29/2014
China's MVNOs Hit the Wall
Robert Clark, 10/27/2014
Let's Not Kill SDN & NFV With Silos
Francois Locoh-Donou, Senior VP, Global Products Group, Ciena, 10/28/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed