LTE Advanced modem claims first single RF carrier aggregation implementation

February 25, 2013 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
ST-Ericsson has announced the Thor™ M7450 LTE Advanced modem at Mobile World Congress 2013, which uses a single radio for Carrier Aggregation. The M7450 supports all relevant 3GPP specified frequency bands having 10 flexible RF ports enabling 17 frequency bands or more in the same device.

With this modem, the company significantly increases the number of LTE bands compared to devices currently on the market allowing device manufacturers to address a global market with less number of device variants.

With the roll out of LTE and LTE Advanced technologies, device manufacturers face a number of new challenges. Operators require terminals that support an increased number of frequency bands and consumers expect increased data speed and improved battery lifetime. Phone makers, however, cannot compromise device design and will need modem solutions that can do more in the same footprint.

Today, many operators only have 5 or 10 MHz bandwidth allocations in each frequency band for LTE which is insufficient for LTE Category 3 or 4 with data rates up to 100 or 150 Mbps. Carrier Aggregation allows bandwidth from two different frequency bands to be combined enabling higher data rates.

The Thor M7450 is a two chip solution with integrated RAM to enable a compact size. The modem is designed in 28-nm CMOS technology and builds on the architecture introduced in Thor M7400 which delivers market-leading power consumption. It supports 3GPP Release 10, LTE category 4, with downlink speeds up to 150Mbps and VoLTE. With LTE-FDD, LTE-TDD, HSPA+, GSM and TD-SCDMA integrated in the same chipset, the M7450 addresses the need for a simple and cost effective solution for widespread global adoption of LTE devices.

The Thor M7450 is being demonstrated by ST-Ericsson in Barcelona this week and is currently sampling with customers.