Breaking News
Blog

Cellphone’s 40th anniversary is no midlife crisis

NO RATINGS
View Comments: Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
mhrackin
User Rank
Author
re: Cellphone’s 40th anniversary is no midlife crisis
mhrackin   4/12/2013 4:54:44 PM
NO RATINGS
As one who had a small part in Marty's team in the "batcave" I can attest that we started working on TRUE cellular networks in 1970! I've posted elsewhere (on the blog with the Marty Cooper interview video) in more detail. I have to admit I was skeptical about whether we could ever figure out the right hand-off processes.

Kevin Neilson
User Rank
Author
re: Cellphone’s 40th anniversary is no midlife crisis
Kevin Neilson   4/6/2013 8:07:20 AM
NO RATINGS
Remember when one could buy a fake carphone antenna to make it look like you had a phone built into the car? That would hardly be a mark of prestige now. In 1973 I think if you'd asked people to predict what they'd see in 2013, I bet they'd have predicted we'd have landed on Mars and would have (huge) HAL-like computers and robots to wash the dishes, but they probably would never have guessed that even children would own phones that made the Star Trek communicators look bulky and primitive. It's so hard to forecast.

Bert22306
User Rank
Author
re: Cellphone’s 40th anniversary is no midlife crisis
Bert22306   4/5/2013 8:29:08 PM
NO RATINGS
Exactly. And beyond that, although perhaps not so popular in the US yet, a whole lot of people around the world get their Internet broadband connections at home, as well as on the go, via 3G. Soon 4G, no doubt. So that's why my emphasis on what transpired 40 years ago is not on that walkie-talkie looking gadget itself, but on the word "cellular."

old account Frank Eory
User Rank
Author
re: Cellphone’s 40th anniversary is no midlife crisis
old account Frank Eory   4/4/2013 9:20:38 PM
NO RATINGS
As remarkable as the evolution of the mobile phone was from a "brick" to a pocket-sized device, I find it even more remarkable how rapidly the pocket-sized phone of the mid-2000s evolved to today's pocket-sized connected computers with their incredibly wide variety of apps -- and that for many users, the fact that these devices can also make voice calls is almost incidental.

selinz
User Rank
Author
re: Cellphone’s 40th anniversary is no midlife crisis
selinz   4/4/2013 6:18:22 PM
NO RATINGS
I remember my first bag phone (`90?). I was almost embarassed to use it when I went to the airport one time. Not beacuse it was big, but because it seemed "boasty."

rick merritt
User Rank
Author
re: Cellphone’s 40th anniversary is no midlife crisis
rick merritt   4/3/2013 11:36:30 PM
NO RATINGS
Good point! The story generated an email noting many of the fundamental technologies behind cellular came out of Bell Labs. More engineers to credit.

Upal_Sengupta
User Rank
Author
re: Cellphone’s 40th anniversary is no midlife crisis
Upal_Sengupta   4/3/2013 10:43:44 PM
NO RATINGS
Thanks for commemorating the anniversary of such an important technology that most of us take for granted these days. Reading this story really does make me reflect on my own career, and I am grateful that I had a chance to at least play a (very) small part in this industry. As an engineering student at the University of Illinois in the 1980s, many of my friends went on to work at Motorola after graduation. I was fortunate enough to join some of them a few years later and worked on battery and system power management technology for mobile phones during some of the “glory years” in the 1990s. Now, as an applications engineer at TI, I still see the influence of the mobile phone on our work at the IC level every day. The system-level need drives the component technology, and new components enable better system solutions. The circle of life… There have been tremendous changes over the past 40 years – the components available, the design philosophies we follow, the engineering work environment, and of course the economics that drive the industry as a whole. One lesson we can we learn from history is that sometimes, brilliant ideas can take a long time to really pay off. It was nearly twenty years after this first phone call before mobile phones started becoming commonplace. It was another ten years before they became ubiquitous. During that time, entire new segments of our industry were created. Batteries, displays, antennas, connectors, and of course semiconductors have made huge strides over this time period. I expect that Mr. Cooper could not have fully envisioned the scale of the revolution that would be launched because of his invention. He and his team have changed the lives of billions of people as a result.

Bert22306
User Rank
Author
re: Cellphone’s 40th anniversary is no midlife crisis
Bert22306   4/3/2013 8:57:04 PM
NO RATINGS
Scary-amazing that it's already been 40 years. But I don't see the actual innovation that of a cell phone per se. The telephone instrument looked very much like a walkie-talkie, and we had those for decades prior. No big deal there. We already knew how to tie wireless sets to the telephone network. The problem to solve was to achieve scale. And for that, the super-duper invention was that of cellular communications. In cellular (this very much relates to the article on TV white spaces), you shorten the RF range enormously, and you reuse the same RF frequency channels over and over again, in a small area. Not city-wide, but only a few blocks at most. Most importantly, for this to be practical, you have to automate the frequent re-tuning necessary, as you jump from one cell to the next. That's the huge innovation. The phone instrument is just about immaterial. Cellular provides ubiquitous RF coverage for any type of comms. Fashionable iPhones are but one of the uses of this great innovation.

rick merritt
User Rank
Author
re: Cellphone’s 40th anniversary is no midlife crisis
rick merritt   4/3/2013 6:09:32 PM
NO RATINGS
A personal reminiscence: I was oblivious to the first 15 years of the cellphone. In 1988, I was a tech reporter in Hong Kong, noticing the CT2 (cordless telephone, second generation) handsets. They could call out but not receive calls, so users also wore a pager. Later models had integrated pagers and were the object of conspicuous consumption for messengers. When I returned to the US in 1993 my realtor had a car phone. I thought, "what a luxury!" Within six years I was issued a Nokia 3210 candy bar handset, my first work phone. I thought I died and went to heaven. A phone in my pocket! A few years back I was upgraded to a Blackberry--email at my fingertips--Wow! Now I carry an iPhone 3G--the Web in my pocket. Amazing! Along the way fortunes have been made and lost. Cities of Foxconn assemblers have emerged in China. And now China is making its own cellphones and cellphone chips as my colleague Junko Yoshida writes on a weekly basis.

chanj0
User Rank
Author
re: Cellphone’s 40th anniversary is no midlife crisis
chanj0   4/3/2013 4:54:23 PM
NO RATINGS
Happy 40th Anniversary to both EE Times and Cellular Technology. I can't help agreeing with the importance of system engineering as the cellular technology is invented. With a system perspective, technology will go to next level and more products can be build better and faster. One of the many great features of cellular technology is frequency reused. The system capacity can be increased by shrinking the size and shape of a cell. What a brilliant idea. Today, some of the key features of the cloud based technology is data redundancy and all-on service availability. Both can be achieved by leveraging different OS services, DNS, Apache Cassandra. I am with Rick. I am looking forward to what the world is like when all these great technologies invented in the 70s' are towards the retirement age. Thank you, Rick for the article and video.

More Blogs
Winning products can have viable production lifetimes of decades, despite our "here today, obsolete tomorrow" thinking.
Customized displays don't need to be a complicated and expensive choice for designers and procurement professionals.
This quiz will make you think even more about how and when to use decoupling capacitors in high-speed circuits.
You'd think that the dissonance between excitement over IoT opportunities on one hand and concern about IoT security on the other would yield a rich breeding ground for companies targeting IoT security.
What do all the latest M&A events in the chip industry mean to semiconductor IP companies?
Most Recent Comments
michigan0
 
SteveHarris0
 
realjjj
 
SteveHarris0
 
SteveHarris0
 
VicVat
 
Les_Slater
 
SSDWEM
 
witeken
Most Recent Messages
9/25/2016
4:48:30 PM
michigan0 Sang Kim First, 28nm bulk is in volume manufacturing for several years by the major semiconductor companies but not 28nm FDSOI today yet. Why not? Simply because unlike 28nm bulk the LDD(Lightly Doped Drain) to minimize hot carrier generation can't be implemented in 28nm FDSOI. Furthermore, hot carrier reliability becomes worse with scaling, That is the major reason why 28nm FDSOI is not manufacturable today and will not be. Second, how can you suppress the leakage currents from such ultra short 7nm due to the short channel effects? How thin SOI thickness is required to prevent punch-through of un-dopped 7nm FDSOI? Possibly less than 4nm. Depositing such an ultra thin film less then 4nm filum uniformly and reliably over 12" wafers at the manufacturing line is extremely difficult or not even manufacturable. If not manufacturable, the 7nm FDSOI debate is over!Third, what happens when hot carriers are generated near the drain at normal operation of 7nm FDSOI? Electrons go to the positively biased drain with no harm but where the holes to go? The holes can't go to the substrate because of the thin BOX layer. Some holes may become trapped at the BOX layer causing Vt shift. However, the vast majority of holes drift through the the un-dopped SOI channel toward the N+Source,...

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
Like Us on Facebook
EE Times on Twitter
EE Times Twitter Feed