My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Modem Dongles with their own Processor SOC Memory and Power – Mavado's Delilah Interview with a Vampire

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Modem Dongles with their own Processor SOC Memory and Power – Mavado's Delilah Interview with a Vampire

Timeo Danaos et dona Ferentis
(I fear the Greeks, even when they bring gifts)

Virgil, Aeneid, II

The current design of Modem Dongles to access 3G, LTE and WiMaX (IEEE 802.11n) and Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) Networks today needs to be changed and soon. This as with progressively faster speeds trending into multiples of 10Mbps, their power consumption and speed will outstrip that which is supplied by the USB and Ethernet Port as well as the memory and Processor  that most of them use to connect to your computer to provide Internet access.

Most USB ports are USB 1.0. USB 2.0 is both a firmware and physical upgrade to enable them to be capable of speeds above 400MBps, the current speed limit of USB 1.0. In addition, most of these Modem Dongles utilize the Processor and memory of the Host UE (User Equipment) to which they are attached, be it a Laptop, Desktop or Netbook (if those are still around by 2012AD).

For this reason, the basic requirement of a Modem Dongle based on my personal experience is usually a Host UE with a Processor capable of speeds above 1.5GHz and a 1Gb DDR2 533MHz RAM Module. But this seems unfair to those individuals who have a lower spec machine to have to upgrade their computer for thousands of dollars after having purchased a JA$3600 Modem Dongle.

After all, it is not the customer’s fault, as computers are expensive, despite the best efforts of Telecom Provider LIME to make Laptops accessible to all as stated in my blog article entitledLIME and the FlipTop Promotion – Saving Private Ryan to increase Internet Penetration in Jamaica”.

Even worse, if the Raspberry Pi Mini PC is anything to go by in term of their diminutive computer design and a SD Card as its Hard-drive as prognosticated in my blog article entitledRaspberry Pi US$25 computer coming in November 2011AD - Post PC Survival and PC Revolution for the Masses”, Modem Dongles in the future will have to have their own Processor, preferably a SOC (System on a Chip) that does communication as well as DSP (Digital Signal Processing) of the incoming data stream, Onboard RAM Memory Modules and be solar powered.

So as Telecom Provider LIME and Telecom Provider Digicel here in Caribbean begin to upgrade their Networks to HSDPA+ Release 7 (High Speed Downlink Packet Access Plus) for the EU and US tourists arriving in December 2012AD with the help of Equiptment Supplier Ericsson as stated in my blog article entitled “LIME and American Tourist Data Avalanche - The US$80 Million Dollar CannonBall Run” and the article “Digicel's US$85 million HSDPA+ and WiMax 4G Upgrade - Wizards of Waverly Place Fast Five Showdown”, the Modems Dongles will also have to be upgraded as I have suggested.

This as at the higher speeds of 10MBps best effort, the Modem Dongles already show signs of overheating, as is evident from the lackluster performance of the Telecom Provider Digicel Modem Dongle for their WiMaX (IEEE 802.16d, e) Network. This as at those higher speeds, the memory cache required on the Host UE is larger than the 1Gb provided in the computer, thus significantly slowing the Host UE Processor speed significantly.

Also, as these Modem Dongles use more power, the battery life of Laptops and Netbooks will be severely compromised, as more power is needed to process the linear QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation) signal that is inherent in 3G, LTE and WiMax (IEEE 802.11n) and Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) Networks.

Which as any Telecom Technician knows, means that the linear amplifiers in the Modem Dongle, so called because they have equal amplification over a wide range or frequencies, have to use more power than the GMSK (Gaussian Mask Shifted Keying) Amplifiers used in EDGE Modems Dongles, such as the Digicel EDGE USB Stick DC87-0 Modem software as stated in my blog article entitled “Digicel EDGE Modem - Report on the testrun for Digicel Broadband”.

This significantly saps the Power and RAM Module Memory of the Host UE to which it is attached and thereby affecting its processing power while online, ALREADY noticeable by users who have a Digicel 4G Broadband Modem Dongle, as their computer appears to run slower, Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994) Style.

So as the speeds multiply in factors of ten (10) upwards to 42MBps, the upper limit speed of a fully provisioned HSDPA+ Release 7 as stated in my blog article entitled “LIME's US$80 million Caribbean HSDPA+ Release 7 Upgrade - Sonic the Hedgehog”, if the current design of Modem Dongles is unchanged, people using PC, Laptops and Netbooks will begin to notice its effect on the performance of their machine while online, even if the machine has a Processor capable of speeds above 1.5GHz and a 1Gb DDR2 533MHz RAM Module.

The solution is to have the Modem Dongle possess its own Processor SOC, onboard RAM Memory module and be solar powered, possibly even powered by ambient sound as per my blog article entitled “uBeam's Perry & Dweck Ultrasonic Power Transfer - Rafe Needleman's Hidden Village of Sound”.

It would help alleviate these potential future problems, especially with lower power and more efficient Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge Processors as stated in my blog article entitled Intel & Poison Ivy Bridge Processors - 22nm in an Iso-Linear of Their Own” and possibly smaller PC, Laptops and Netbooks, now being replaced by the UltraBook and Apple MacBook Air.

With the current development of the adhesive by the collaboration of IBM and 3M as stated in my blog article entitled “IBM and 3M to develope adhesive for Iso-Linear Processor - Rihanna's Umbrella for Intel's SuperComputer on a Chip, Vertical Array Processors or Iso-Linear Processors may be coming to these new Modem Dongle designs to access 10MBps and higher 3G, LTE and WiMax (IEEE 802.11n) and Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) Networks by 2013AD!

The design changes to Modem Dongles that are required and mentioned above in my article for speeds above 10MBps would preserve the portability of Modem Dongle design and allow the Modem Dongle to process speeds in the multiples of 10MBps in the future without taxing the limited resources of the customer’s Host UE, Mavado’s Delilah style!

It also has an added benefit of making it possible for more people with low end computers to access Wireless Broadband Internet without worrying that they will have to upgrade their computer just to experience the Internet.

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