During the recent CeBIT trade fair held in Hannover Germany a team of researchers led by Dr Kevin Morris, Reader in RF Engineering, Dept of Electrical & Electronic Eng at the University of Bristol presented a new RF amplifier design. The amp operates with an efficiency of 50 % compared to the 30 % typically achieved by today’s base station amplifiers.

The improvement was a result of “devising sophisticated new computing algorithms for incorporation into its inbuilt electronic management system, as well as a number of adjustments to the amplifier hardware”. According to Dr Morris “This new amplifier design represents a step change in energy efficiency that could make a really valuable contribution to meeting the UK’s carbon reduction targets. Traditionally, designing signal amplifiers for base stations has been a long, complex process involving a trial-and-error approach and producing one-off solutions. This has fuelled a reluctance to develop new amplifier designs. To get over that barrier, we’ve made it a priority to ensure our design is easily replicable.”

The research was funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).