Pharrowtech has announced the closure of its €15M Series-A funding round. With the money, the Imec spinoff can continue developing next-generation 60 GHz wireless RF transceivers and antenna technology. In particular, it will enable the Leuven-based company to accelerate deployment of its recently launched 60 GHz CMOS RFIC and phased-array antenna RF module, grow its engineering and business teams and expand its operations in the US. The round was led by the Dutch deep-tech financier Innovation Industries, joined by seed investors Imec.Xpand, Bloc Ventures and KBC’s Focus Fund.
The license-free 60 GHz frequency range is becoming increasingly important for applications such as remote working and learning, augmented and virtual reality, and entertainment and gaming, thanks to its greater capacity and lower latency. Network operators are looking more and more at 60 GHz solutions for outdoor fixed wireless access (FWA) to deliver gigabit-per-second speeds to consumers. In parallel, due to the increasing capabilities of 5G radio base stations, mobile operators are deploying millimeter-wave solutions to meet the increasing demand of backhaul network architectures for macro and high-density small cell deployments.
Building on Imec’s R&D and prototypes, Pharrowtech recently announced the availability of its PTR1060, the world’s first IEEE 802.11ay-compliant CMOS RF chip for indoor and outdoor wireless use cases that supports the full 57-71 GHz bandwidth. It also launched the PTM1060 phased-array antenna modules to provide OEM/ODMs with a ready-to-use 60 GHz solution. The programming interfaces and tunable features of the chip and antenna allow for optimal integration by equipment makers. Both products are already being designed-in by a tier-one US vendor.
“This investment is another significant milestone in our journey,” comments Wim Van Thillo, CEO and co-founder of Pharrowtech. “Despite the challenges brought by a global pandemic, we were able to move rapidly from Imec R&D prototypes in 2019 to scaling up production of an advanced 60 GHz RF solution by 2022. With the next phase of our growth underway, we’re committed to providing RF solutions to multi-GHz links to enable low-cost infrastructure and consumer applications.”