Bristol-based startup gets funding for 60 GHz wireless IP

Bristol-based startup gets funding for 60 GHz wireless IP

Business news |
By eeNews Europe

This will allow the company to drive further growth, doubling in size to 30 staff, and complete the development of its HYDRA programmable baseband IP that supports both 802.11ad next generation WiFi (WiGig CERTIFIED) and 4G mobile network backhaul applications.

The funding round was led by Qi3 Accelerator, who represented a syndicate of over $1.5m (£1m) of London Business Angels private investors, including Wren Capital. A further $0.9 million (£0.6m) was invested by the Angel Co-Fund, several additional investors made up the remainder.

Blu Wireless’s baseband technology uses a programmable parallel processing architecture to efficiently support the complex modulation schemes required for emerging multi-gigabit wireless communication standards. The IP is currently optimised for chipsets used in both advanced WiFi and 4G small cell deployments, and can be simply scaled to support the anticipated future standards as they move to 20 Gbps and beyond.

The firm is already working with several of the world’s leading semiconductor and system companies in these markets, says CEO Henry Nurser with the same customers using the IP for both 802.11ad and for wireless backhaul. The IP will be sold under license agreement to chipset manufacturers that compete in, or want to enter, markets that exploit the unlicensed 60GHz frequency band.

“With the completion of this funding round, we will be executing our plan to become the leading supplier of baseband system IP to manufacturers in the 60 GHz sector," said Nurser.

“This is a very exciting sector and we are convinced Blu Wireless will be a global leader in 60 GHz technology," said Tim de Vere Green of Qi3 who will also join the board. "We believe 60 GHz applications in both consumer WiGig and telecoms backhaul are set for rapid growth, and Blu Wireless is already working with several of the world’s leading semiconductor companies in these markets. The thorough due diligence we have conducted has given us great confidence in the team’s technical and management capabilities, as well as their deep knowledge of their target markets.”

Back in February German IP supplier Creonic licensed its new forward error correction LDPC decoder IP core designed to address the WiGig 60 GHz standard (IEEE 802.11ad) to Blu Wireless.

The WiGig standard offers data rates of up to 7 Gbit/s and hence outperforms existing WiFi technology by 10x and the LDPC-based forward error correction is an integral part of the WiGig baseband technology.

The Creonic WiGig LDPC IP core uses a unique pipeline architecture that can be customized at design-time to deliver best performance on any target technology (ASIC technology nodes and FPGAs). Enabling of pipeline stages within the IP core is flexible and allows for optimization of required routing resources, path delays between pipeline stages, throughput, and footprint at the same time.

“By integrating Creonic’s WiGig LDPC core within our uniquely flexible HYDRA baseband System IP we are able to exceed our customer’s power and area expectations,” said Nurser.

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