One particular thing that makes newer cells and PDAs so complex is the growing number of radios inside. Typically, you'll have one chipset designed to transmit and receive on a certain band. So, when you have a phone capable of picking up three different bands, you have three different chips – all of which add on to the cost and power drain of the unit as a whole.
has recently announced they have developed a new semiconductor technology aimed at helping just that, called CMOS 7RF SOI. The new technology is aimed at integrating multiple types of RF functions onto a single chip, including their power controllers. The biggest this impact would have on handsets is to ultimately reduce their cost, on top of making them require fewer components and potentially have longer battery life:
Single-chip solutions address the need for fully integrated multimedia functionality on low-cost handsets, providing entry-level users in emerging markets such as China, India and Latin America with affordable, power-efficient and high-performance mobile devices.
IBM expects to begin offering the technology next year, where likely manufacturers will begin picking it up. You can read the full press release
at IBM's site.