Expert: Power consumption of 5G mobile phones will restrict its introduction to the market

Expert: Power consumption of 5G mobile phones will restrict its introduction to the market

The 5G tide is coming. In addition to chip manufacturers, operators and equipment manufacturers, terminal manufacturers are also working hard.

Recently, the relevant parameters of the upcoming Samsung S10 mobile phone were exposed by the media. Among the parameters, what is particularly interesting is its battery capacity. It is reported that in the S10 series, the S10E/Lite will be equipped with a 3100mAh battery.

In August last year, the 5G module provided by Motorola for the Moto Z3 mobile phone also had a built-in 2000 mAh battery, while the Moto Z3 mobile phone itself had a 3000 mAh battery, and the combined capacity of the two reached 5000 mAh. It is consistent with the battery capacity exposed by the rumored 5G version of the S10 mobile phone. Such a battery capacity is unique for major brands of mobile phones.

Why do 5G phones need such a large battery? Do 5G mobile phones really consume as much power as rumored?

The more work you do, the more energy you use

“There is no definite news that the Samsung S10 is a 5G mobile phone. But it is certain that 5G mobile phones must consume more power than 4G mobile phones.” Xiang Ligang, CEO of communication portal, said in an interview with a reporter from Science and Technology Daily. , because 5G mobile phones need to handle more tasks and require more bandwidth, resulting in high power consumption, which is a normal phenomenon in the evolution of mobile phones.

“A 5G mobile phone is like a person who does a lot of physical work. The more work you do, the greater the energy consumption.” Xiang Ligang said that if you want 5G mobile phones to have faster network speed and higher spectrum utilization, sacrifice Mobile phone power consumption is inevitable.

Specifically, various factors cause 5G mobile phones to consume more power.First of all, compared with 3G and 4G mobile phones, the number of antennas in 5G mobile phones has increased significantly.“5G terminal equipment uses Massive MIMO (massive multiple input, multiple output) antenna technology, which requires at least 8 antennas built into the mobile phone, and each antenna has its own power amplifier, which will generate relatively large power consumption. ” Xiang Ligang said.

Secondly, the power consumption of the screen is also an important aspect.The high resolution of the screen requires high processing power of the CPU and GPU; the large screen requires more backlights, both of which will lead to increased power consumption.

In addition, in the case of low 5G network coverage, if the 5G network is preferred, the mobile phone will frequently search for signals.“Search itself will also speed up power consumption.” Zhang Peng, the news editor of Beijing AnTuTu Technology Co., Ltd., told the Science and Technology Daily reporter.

It is also reported that none of the major chip manufacturers have yet launched SoC (Service Operation Center) solutions with built-in 5G modems. Whether it is Snapdragon 855, Exynos 9820 or Kirin 980, there is no built-in support for 5G networks, so it is necessary to plug in its own Snapdragon X50, Exynos 5100, and Balong 5000 to realize 5G function, which undoubtedly increases the function of mobile phones. consumption.

For example, the Snapdragon 855 uses a 7-nanometer process, while the external X50 modem is a 28-nanometer process, which obviously affects the power of the mobile phone and even poses a new challenge to the heat control ability of the mobile phone. Likewise, the Exynos 5100 uses a 10-nanometer process, which is also a generation behind the Exynos 9820’s 8-nanometer process.

“5G mobile phones are bound to increase in power consumption due to the addition of 5G network-related modules on the basis of mobile phones,” Zhang Peng said.

Effective management may reduce energy consumption

“In fact, whether it is a 3G mobile phone, a 4G mobile phone or a 5G mobile phone, such a situation will be encountered in the early stage of design.” Xiang Ligang said that the prospect of 5G mobile phones cannot be denied because of the current high power consumption.

He believes that the problem of high power consumption of 5G mobile phones can be alleviated through effective management.“Take a multi-core CPU as an example, each core is completely independent and has its own front-side bus, which will not cause conflicts. When it needs to process more data or run more tasks, it wakes up multiple cores. No need When it is time, some cores can be reduced, thereby reducing energy consumption.” Xiang Ligang said that 5G mobile phones can also reduce power consumption in this way. No other functions are needed when making calls, just let 1 core work and it won’t consume much power.

However, compared with 3G mobile phones and 4G mobile phones, 5G mobile phones are more difficult to manage.Because different frequency bands correspond to different standard networks. In addition to LTE, GSM, WCDMA, TD-SCDMA, CDMA2000 and other networks are concentrated in 5G mobile phones, which increases the difficulty of mobile phone management. Xiang Ligang likened networks of different standards to lanes, he said: “When one lane becomes eight lanes, there are indeed more cars that can run, but the overall fuel consumption also increases, and it is also difficult to manage the lanes. It will increase accordingly.” Zhang Peng also said that 5G mobile phones test the optimization capabilities of chip manufacturers and mobile phone manufacturers.

In addition, technological improvements can also contribute to lower energy consumption, such as the use of new materials, better chips built into mobile phones, the use of low-energy accessories such as AMOLED screens, increased battery capacity or enhanced CPU processing power, etc.“However, these technologies are not for 5G mobile phones, and 4G mobile phones can also be improved in these ways.” Xiang Ligang said frankly, “Reducing energy consumption is an eternal topic of mobile phones.”

In Zhang Peng’s view, 5G mobile phone manufacturers will focus on user experience. If the battery life is too different from that of 4G mobile phones, manufacturers will not easily bring products to the market. “At present, most 5G mobile phones are still in the internal testing stage of manufacturers, and the real battery life is still unknown.”

“In fact, compared with the high power consumption, the main problem of 5G mobile phones is still expensive.” Zhang Peng said that all mobile phones that support 5G networks this year are basically flagship phones. “The Galaxy S10 X may sell for more than 10,000 yuan. Compared with a 4G phone of the same configuration, a 5G phone may be more than 1,000 yuan more expensive.

Both Xiang Ligang and Zhang Peng believe that the current 5G network coverage is insufficient, the price is high, and some technical bottlenecks have not been overcome. In this context, it is too early for ordinary users to start 5G mobile phones.

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