OnQ Blog

Modem power consumption – visualized

Nov 19, 2014

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

I think it’s safe to say that everyone wants their mobile Internet connection to be fast. We want web pages to load quickly, be able to share photos in an instant, and watch video on our mobile devices without interruption. The modem integrated into the Qualcomm® Snapdragon processor is built to meet these performance expectations as you can see here.

But Qualcomm’s’ modems are also designed to be low power. Using less battery power can extend device battery life so you can do the things you love—spend more time browsing the web, share more photos and stream more movies.

To illustrate how little power is used by the modem in Snapdragon processors, we ventured into the modem lab to create the video above. Here’s the set up:

We took two test boxes that can monitor power and connected them to two commercial smartphones—one with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor (with integrated modem) and the other with a competitor's cellular modem.

The smartphone batteries were bypassed. That way, both phones are fed the same voltage (3.8 volts). The boxes are also able to measure the current passing through the phones.

To create identical signal conditions for both smartphones, we connected them to a call box simulating a 3G network (TD-SCDMA).  We then placed a phone call to each phone so you can see how much current is being used during the 3G phone calls.

We then used the call box to create a test 4G network (LTE-TDD) and delivered data to both smartphones.

In both the 3G voice and 4G data scenarios, the Snapdragon based smartphone is the least power-hungry. Watch the video above to see the results for yourself.

Update: we’ve created a similar power consumption demo, this time showing our WCDMA and LTE-FDD modem power performance advantage:

Qualcomm Snapdragon processors are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.