The idea of cell-based mobile radio systems appeared at Bell Laboratories, in the USA, in the early 1970s. However, it was not until a decade later that such systems were introduced for commercial use. During the early 1980s, analogue cellular telephone systems experienced a very rapid growth in Europe, particularly in Scandinavia and the United Kingdom. Cellular-phone systems use the 800MHz (806 to 902 MHz) and 1.9GHz (1,850 to 1,990 MHz) frequency bands. The 1.9GHz frequencies are allocated to PCS (personal communication services), but many cellular systems use these frequencies as they bundle PCS capabilities on their voice-centric service.
The rapid growth in the PC industry in the 1980s soon led to a demand for portability, and by the middle of the decade PC manufacturers had began releasing products to meet this demand. Since then, the mobile PC market has been a key driver for continuous innovation, miniaturisation and technological advancement.
This has largely been in a number of technological areas of particular relevance to the mobile arena:
- In screen technology, the dramatic weight, size and power consumption benefits of flat panels has, for several years, outweighed their relative high cost and long been a driver for developments in LCD technology and, for several years, outweighed their relative high cost.
- In battery technology, the ever increasing consumption of more powerful mobile CPUs has required continuous improvements simply to enable average battery life to remain fairly constant.
- In storage technology, the innovation of PC Card technology has met the demand for smaller, lighter and more portable tools for information processing.
However, it should not be forgotten that in processor technology, the advent of the Pentium M – the “first chip designed from the ground up to power notebooks” – looks set to have a huge impact on PC industry across the board, forming the basis for the Intel Core microarchitecture which, from mid-2006 on, will provide
- Flat panel displays for mobile computers – laptops, notebooks and netbooks
- Battery technology for mobile computers – laptops, notebooks and webbooks
- Laptop, notebook and netbook expansion devices
- Expansion interfaces for laptops, notebooks and other mobile computers
- External keyboards for mobile computers.
- USB On-The-Go – USB technology for PDAs and mobile phones
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