European tech for first 802.11ay mmWave chip

European tech for first 802.11ay mmWave chip

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

Belgian chip designer Pharrowtech has developed a high performance millimetre wave chip and phased array antenna module for the 802.11ay standard.

Pharrowtech says the PTR1060 RFIC is the world’s first RF chip fully-compliant to the IEEE802.11ay standard by supporting six full channels, and uses an integrated microcontroller for on-chip calibrations and to allow system vendors to implement custom differentiated features.

“[The] PTR1060 is integrated with Blu Wireless baseband MAC software, which opens further 5G market opportunities in high-speed transport, defence, and private networks,” says Pharrowtech.

The highly integrated RF chip has 32 antenna paths with on-chip transmitter path switching, significantly reducing the antenna footprint and resulting in lower cost RF antenna modules and supports channel bonding and six full channels between 57 to 71GHz, rather than just the lowest four. This is important as higher channels enable significantly better performance due to reduced oxygen absorption of the transmitted signal. The chip also integrates a low noise synthesizer enabling up to 64QAM modulation and a high-resolution phase shifter for more accurate beam forming capabilities in a module

The RF chip is coupled with the PTM1060 phased array antenna module and partner baseband chips such as the Renesas RWM6050 with Blu Wireless hardware IP for Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) deployments and private 5G networks across the full 57 to 71 GHz bandwidth. Pharrowtech is also aiming the RF chip at consumer and IoT applications for high bitrate cable replacement.

“This is a momentous development for the mmWave industry,” said Marco Bello, vice president of Marketing and Product Management at Pharrowtech. “The PTR1060 goes far beyond any fully integrated radio transceiver available today to enable a variety of rapidly expanding next-generation WiFi and 5G applications, as well as delivering high-speed smart city applications. Our focus is making the design process easier and more efficient for ODM/OEMs, so combining Renesas’ best-of-breed baseband technology into a module to complement our own has been an important part of our strategy. This launch demonstrates our ability to deliver complex, state-of-the-art CMOS RFIC and phased antenna array products, and sets Pharrowtech on course to become a dominant player in the mmWave space.”

The RF chip supports reliable high bit rate links that cannot be cost effectively served with wired technologies, targeting smart city deployments such as high-resolution CCTV cameras in public spaces with higher performance, shorter deployment time and lower equipment cost.

 “Our mission is to deliver advanced 5G mmWave wireless connectivity solutions which exploit the large amount of license-free bandwidth available in the 57-71 GHz band. We are therefore very pleased to be working with Pharrowtech on the integration of their latest RFIC to help us achieve this goal. We look forward to our continued collaboration on the delivery of 5G mmWave connectivity solutions,” said Mark Barrett, chief commercial officer of Blu Wireless.

PTR1060 RFIC and PTM1060 RFM are currently available to select customers and are already being designed-in by a tier-one US equipment vendor. Demonstrations and evaluation kits will be available in Q1 2022, and mass production will begin in Q3 2022.;

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