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Lucent Claims 3G Chip Breakthrough

Bell Labs, the research arm of Lucent Technologies has claimed a breakthrough technology that increases the capacity and speed if third-generation (3G) products.

The struggling telecommunications equipment maker said the new chip design improves the efficiency of a chip used in its third generation (3G) Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) network equipment and also increases the number of users that can tap into the wireless networks.

"This new chip design will substantially increase wireless network capacity, consequently reducing costs for mobile operators," Lucent said in a statement.

The Murray Hill, N.J.-based firm, claimed the new baseband processor would allow base stations equipment to serve up to 10 percent more customers -- with the highest data transmission speeds -- than base stations incorporating other available baseband processors.

"It also makes possible less power-hungry mobile devices able to accommodate multimedia communications at data speeds comparable to cable modem or digital subscriber line (DSL) broadband Internet access technologies," the company said.

Lucent has licensed the technology for incorporation into chipsets for UMTS handsets, wireless PC modem cards and other devices.

It said the new technology - dubbed "Unified Turbo/Viterbi Channel Decoder" -- would reduce the need for host processor support, which require the most computing resources.

"This provides a bottom-line benefit to service providers in terms of improved performance, and return on investment," said Paul Mankiewich, chief technical officer of Lucent's Mobility Solutions Group, which developed the new technology with the Bell Labs research arm.

It said the chip upgrade includes features that enable the Unified Turbo/Viterbi Channel Decoder to support more voice and data calls than competitors' solutions, which typically require software intervention to change service combinations.

The decoder would support any mix of voice and data services needed for UMTS networks and would support both voice and data services for any 3G digital wireless standard.

Lucent said the new chips would decode UMTS 2 Megabits per second data streams and provide up to a 12 percent increase in link sensitivity, improvements that would extend the coverage area of its new OneBTS base station.