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16 April 2014

GigOptix delivers $1.5m order for E-band radio chipsets

GigOptix Inc of San Jose, CA, USA (a fabless supplier of analog semiconductor and optical communications components for fiber-optic and wireless networks) has claimed a leadership position in point-to-point (PtP) wireless backhaul with production volume delivery and continuous revenue growth in E-Band radio chipsets. It has also appointed industry veteran Sushil Kumar to the newly created role of senior director of IC development for the Wireless Product Line.

Wireless Product Line growth

GigOptix’s Wireless Product Line was launched in June 2012 when GigOptix augmented its internal gallium arsenide (GaAs) power amplifier program by licensing silicon germanium (SiGe) millimeter-wave technology from IBM for E-band chipsets, for both 71-76GHz and 81-86GHz frequency bands.

“We have received a substantial purchase order of $1.5m of our leading E-band devices from one Tier 1 customer,” announces Dr Raluca Dinu, VP & general manager of GigOptix’s High-Speed Communications division. “In comparison, the total fiscal 2013 revenue from the Wireless Product Line was $1.7m,” he adds. “With the strong demand that we have seen so far this year, and considering our current GaAs power amplifier backlog, the Wireless Product Line is in an excellent position to about double the revenue of E-band devices in 2014 compared to the previous year.”

GigOptix says that its EXP7602-DNT and EXP8603-DNT devices were the first GaAs E-band high-performance power amplifiers with general availability (from September 2013) and include integrated power detectors specifically designed to meet ANSI and ETSI requirements. Among other best-in-class RF performance metrics, the amplifiers are claimed to have exceptionally good linearity, output intercept points (OIP3s) better than 31dBm, and typical power dissipation lower than 2.2W.

The E-band radio market, which was still in its early stages just two years ago, is entering the maturity stage with significant volume deployment, says GigOptix. Market estimates are that about 3000 E-band radios per month are currently being shipped. Based on strong demand from Tier 1 customers, the number of deployed radios is expected to grow to 6000 per month, with total shipments in 2014 in excess of 50,000. Demand for E-band radios in the first few months of 2014 has been very strong, driven by the deployment of LTE cellular infrastructure in support of ever growing demand for mobile data for smartphones. If the current trend continues, it is expected that in 2015 the E-band radio will become one of the most deployed solutions for wireless back-hauling, with volumes in the range of 200,000 radios in 2015 and doubling in 2017, adds GigOptix.

The deployment of small cells will be part of the second wave of LTE deployment, with volume installation starting in 2015, and will be addressed by V-band devices, in the 60GHz band. With small-cell density expected to be one order of magnitude greater than regular cells in urban areas, demand for V-band radios is expected to boom in the next two years, with volumes much higher than E-band. GigOptix reckons thatit is also uniquely positioned to be a dominant supplier in V-band chipsets based on the firm’s specialized core skills, RF performance, and roadmap.

According to EJL Wireless Research’s 9th Edition (May 2013) of the report ‘Global Digital PTP Radio Market Analysis and Forecast, 2013-2017’, a shift towards high-capacity radios will continue to drive more value-added products in the market, based on 4G networks launched in 2010 and continuing deployments through 2015. The market report accounts for the impact of microcells, as well as the demand for new sites and capacity upgrades within the mobile infrastructure market. At 60GHz, Gigabit Ethernet unit shipments are forecasted to grow from 20,000 in 2014 to 200,000 in 2017. At 70/80GHz, Gigabit Ethernet unit shipments are forecasted to grow from 18,000 in 2014 to 120,000 in 2017. Gigabit Ethernet is expected to dominate the 60GHz and 70/80GHz frequency bands in the forecast period.

GigOptix adds senior director of IC development for Wireless Product Line

Due to this rapid business growth and customer demand, GigOptix has appointed industry-veteran Sushil Kumar to the newly created role of senior director of IC development for the Wireless Product Line, based in San Jose, to lead the engineering teams for the line.

“Now that significant GigOptix product shipments have started to ramp, we hired Sushil Kumar to take the next generation of the E-band and other wireless-band products to the next level,” says senior VP & chief technical officer Andrea Betti-Berutto. “Sushil has more than 25 years of high-speed RFIC and MMIC transceiver development experience,” he adds. “Sushil will lead our advanced RF and E-band initiatives and will help us accelerate our development of the next-generation mmWave IC transceivers.”

Prior to joining GigOptix, Kumar was director of engineering at RF Micro Devices, leading GaN and GaAs MMIC development in its San Jose design center. His experience includes participating in more than 100 MMIC designs with frequencies from near base-band up to E-band. He has also worked in various engineering and research roles for more than 20 years, including senior RFIC/MMIC design engineer at Avago Technologies in San Jose, senior RFIC/MMIC design engineer at Agilent in San Jose, design engineer at Hewlett Packard in Santa Clara, and a senior scientist at the Defense Research and Development Organization in India. Kumar has published numerous RF papers, has been awarded three patents, and is involved in activities of the IEEE and International Microwave Symposium.

See related items:

GigOptix demos high E-band power amplifier with enhanced P1dB, P3dB and reduced power consumption

GigOptix releases PAs for high capacity E-Band radios

Tags: GigOptix

Visit: www.gigoptix.com

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