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GigOptix Producing GaAs E-band Radio Chipsets In Volume

The gallium arsenide based devices are designed for the point-to-point wireless backhaul market. The company has also taken on ex RFMD veteran Sushil Kumar as Senior Director of IC Development to lead engineering efforts for the wireless product line
GigOptix, a firm that focuses on optical and wireless communications networks, has announced it has a leadership position in point-to-point (PtP) wireless backhaul with production volume delivery and continuous revenue growth of E-Band radio chipsets.

The company has also appointed industry veteran Sushil Kumar to the newly created role of Senior Director of IC Development for the Wireless Product Line. Kumar’s appointment is already effective.

GigOptix’s Wireless Product line was launched in June 2012 when the firm augmented its internal GaAs power amplifier program with the license of the SiGe millimetre wave technology from IBM for E-band chipsets, for both 71 to 76GHz and 81 to 86GHz frequency bands.

“Today we are proud to announce that we have received a substantial purchase order of $1.5 million of our leading E-Band devices from one Tier 1 customer. In comparison, the total fiscal 2013 revenue from the Wireless Product Line was $1.7 million," says Raluca Dinu, Vice President and General Manager of the High-Speed Communications division at GigOptix, Inc.

"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," Dinu adds.

GigOptix EXP7602-DNT and EXP8603-DNT devices were claimed to be the first GaAs E-band high performance power amplifiers with general availability - since September 2013 - and include integrated power detectors specifically designed to meet ANSI and ETSI requirements.

The amplifiers are said to have exceptionally good linearity, OIP3’s better than 31dBm, and typical power dissipation lower than 2.2W.

“This is an exciting time at GigOptix for the wireless product team with such positive acceptance of our products in these early stages of the market. With increasing shipments of RF chipsets we have great momentum to continue to lead the market with best in class differentiated products. The Wireless Product Line is following a visionary path demonstrating GigOptix’ relentless roadmap innovation," says Dinu.

“GigOptix’s roadmap continues to lead the industry with improved performance, lower costs, and higher levels of integration. Customers can expect to receive samples of the new integrated SiGe transceiver chipset in Q3 fiscal 2014."

The E-Band radio market, still in its early stages only two years ago, is entering its maturity stage with significant volume deployment. Market estimates are that approximately 3,000 E-Band radios per month are currently being shipped and, based on strong demand from Tier 1 customers, the number of deployed radios is expected to grow to 6,000 per month with total shipments in 2014 in excess of 50,000 radios.

The 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 the 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.

The deployment of small cells will be part of the second wave of LTE deployment with volume installation to start in 2015 and it will be addressed by V-Band devices, 60GHz band. With small cell density expected to be one order of magnitude greater than regular cells in urban areas, the demand for V-band radios is expected to boom in the next two years with volumes at much higher than E-Band.

According to EJL Wireless Research’s 9th Edition (May 2013) of the Global Digital PTP Radio Market Analysis and Forecast, 2013-2017 report, 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 60 GHz 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.

With 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. Kumar, who will be based at GigOptix’s headquarters in San Jose, will be leading the engineering teams for the Wireless Product Line.

“Now that significant GigOptix product shipments have started to ramp, we hired Mr. Sushil Kumar to take the next generation of the E-Band and other wireless band products to the next level. I am happy to welcome Sushil to the GigOptix team. Sushil has more than twenty-five years of high speed RFIC and MMIC transceiver development experience to benefit GigOptix," says Andrea Betti-Berutto, Senior Vice President and Chief Technical Officer at GigOptix, Inc.

“Sushil will lead our advanced RF and E-Band initiatives and will help us accelerate our development of the next-generation millimetre wave IC transceivers."

Prior to joining GigOptix Kumar held Director of Engineering role at RFMD. At RFMD Kumar led GaN and GaAs MMIC development in the San Jose design centre. Sushil Kumar’s experience includes participation in more than 100 MMIC designs with frequencies from near base band up to E-Band.

He also worked in various engineering and research roles for more than twenty years, including Senior RFIC/MMIC Design Engineer at Avago Technologies in San Jose, Senior RFIC/MMIC Design Engineer at Agilent Technologies in San Jose, Design Engineer at Hewlett Packard in Santa Clara, and a Senior Scientist at the Defence Research and Development Organisation in India.

Kumar has published numerous RF papers, has been awarded three patents, and is actively involved in activities of the IEEE and International Microwave Symposium. He begins his role at GigOptix immediately.





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