The transition to SoC-based base stations may well be very important to achieve low cost infrastructure products. Operators do require macro-cells to be software upgradable, but this would generally add cost as the base station needs to be provisioned for updates to future revisions of the air interface standard. In practice, SoCs would be less capable of being upgradeable, but should provide a better cost point which is necessary for small cells. For more information see: http://www.wirelessweek.com/Articles/2010/04/Devices-Infrastructure-Design-Programmable-Vs-ASIC/ and http://frankrayal.com/
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.