A startup fabless chip vendor changing its business model to become an IP company is usually never a good sign. But judging from the funding Blu Wireless is getting, WiGig may be finally getting interesting...
Junko, thanks for your comments – based on current customer feedback we definitely see the demand for 60GHz technology as accelerating now.
Note that we 'pivoted' our business plan from fabless to System IP early last year when we realised that our unique Intellectual Property related to our HYDRA baseband architecture and wireless system expertise. Once the decision was made we were then able to quickly engage revenue generating customers – which has allowed us to bootstrap BWT's growth over the last 12months in a very cost effective way. We see this as an example of an 'extreme-lean' startup model designed for the semi-conductor funding environment of the last few years.
We have several further interesting developments that will become public over the coming month so very open to having a chat later this month.
We've been watching the rise of 60 GHz for sometime. I know several folks are on the hunt for tri-band as the next big leap in I guess a sort of merged Wi-Fi and PAN.
I can't help wondering if this market will be quickly dominated by the few big Wi-Fi/BT players such as Broadcom, Qualcomm, Marvell.
In that scenario your move makes sense. Better position yourself for a possible acquisition for one of those companies (or Synopsys or ARM or someone), than try to duke it out with your own 60 GHz chips versus their highly integrated devcies.
I have been following the evolution of 60 GHz technology and I am glad to see it close to escaping from the labs, but I am a little confused by the description of it as a backhaul technology. Most of what I have seen described as far as applications has been very short range and in the consumer space. How is this applicable to cellular or other backhaul?
Well Henry or somone else at BWT would probably be best placed to describe this.
BUT my understanding is that 4G tends to get deployed as a large number of small cells at somewhere like an airport and you need to aggregate all the traffic through the small cell basestations and send it up/down the line.
60-GHz carrier using similar but not necessariy identical comminications protocols to WiFi is being used to do this. Because the cells are small and close packd the distances are not enormous.
Even in the 'mature' .11bgn/ac space a number of System IP companies are helping other fabless/ODM will access to WiFi technology. We also see this model applying to the .11ad market - and the baseband's design constraints are very different.
Hence we are in no rush to be acquired - although if someone were to offer $1B I would find it difficult to refuse!
Oxygen absorption restricts practical range to ~1km for low cost backhaul applications, but when dealing with smallcells (designed to improve coverage for 4G networks), and combined with the directional nature of the technology, this is in fact an advantage as it allows freq re-use.