Pharrowtech claims first viable fibre alternative with wireless

Launch of 60GHz high-speed board designed to allow manufacturers and service providers to test broadband capabilities and support high-speed internet roll-out

Aiming to allow telecoms equipment manufacturers to test the capabilities of mmWave radio-frequency integrated circuit (RFIC) technology and its suitability for delivering gigabit-speed broadband access to non-viable locations as a low-cost, easy-to-install alternative to fibre, Pharrowtech has announced the availability of its first-generation evaluation board.

Explaining the rational for introducing the equipment, the next-generation wireless hardware and software applications designer and developer asserted that even though worldwide demand for broadband and higher internet speeds was accelerating, current technology in the field was incapable of fulfilling global needs.

While it said it accepted that fibre delivered high speeds, Pharrowtech insisted fibre had proven to be prohibitively expensive and disruptive to deploy. It said the mmWave 60GHz unlicensed spectrum band offered an alternative capable of delivering reliable gigabit data speeds similar to fibre at a fraction of the deployment and ownership costs.

Founded in 2018 as a spin-off from Imec, where the founding team led CMOS IP generation and prototype development in mmWave wireless systems for more than 15 years, Pharrowtech designs and develops mmWave radio frequency (RF) technology for next-generation wireless applications, with products including RFIC semiconductors, phased antenna arrays and software solutions.

In 2019, the company secured more than €6m in seed funding from Imec-Xpand, Bloc Ventures and the KBC Focus Fund. Pharrowtech’s products serve markets including broadband 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA), consumer electronic (CE) products such as virtual reality (VR) headsets and TVs, and smart city internet of things (IoT) applications.

The new RFIC hardware and associated software caters to the increasingly significant mmWave 60GHz spectrum band, which is suitable for low-power, high-volume applications for residential and business wireless use. The technology can also be used to assess compatibility with other applications requiring low-power and ultrafast, low-latency wireless connectivity.

The Pharrowtech mmWave RFIC technology can also be paired with the Renesas RWM605x family of baseband wireless modems to deliver a full chipset solution. This combination, said Pharrowtech, would allow suppliers to evaluate multi-gigabit performance for their next-generation wireless access solutions.

“Over the past two years, we have been laser focused on developing a product that is robust and reliable, capable of delivering consistent high throughput which is comparable to fibre. This is essential to remove the barriers to enabling ubiquitous, low-cost and high-speed internet to everyone,” remarked Marco Bello, vice-president of marketing and product management at Pharrowtech.

“We have already received significant interest from key industry players and today’s platform launch means service providers, ODMs and OEMs will be able to evaluate the full potential of our technology for themselves. We will soon announce our first field trial with significant partners, including a leading service provider.”

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