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NCSU Researcher's New Transistor Will Boost Signal Capacity Of Cell Phones

Posted January 23, 2001

— If you have problems when using your cell phone, help is on the way from an N.C. State University professor.

Millions of people use cell phones and the number grows around the world. Analog and digital phone use jams frequencies and the ability of phone companies to keep you connected. Dr. Jay Baliga of N.C. State has developed a radio frequency transistor that boosts signal capacity of cell phone towers.

"The transistor has the capacity to boost signals by about 10 times further than is possible today," he says.

Baliga's semiconductor research has led to a new company,Silicon Wireless, which will collaborate with Fairchild Semiconductor to make and market the technology. The new RF transistor will help deliver on the promise of more productive wireless service.

"You can get more traffic. You can now start providing data as well as voice that means people can access the Web and access information wherever they are in the world," he says.

Industry experts say within the next three years, more than 5 million of the towers will be built.

Silicon Wireless is licensed by N.C. State to commercialize the transistor. Baliga says this kind of research is important to the university.

"Our mission at the university has grown from being one of doing research and teaching to also providing a service to the community," she says.

Baliga and Silicon Wireless hope to have the RF transistor on the market within a year. Baliga invented another type transistor now used on all heat pumps, portable defibrillators and Japan's Bullet Train.


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