What is new at Anokiwave - 5G of course

Robert S. Donahue
  1. 5G, Active Antennas, Core ICs

Recently, Anokiwave CEO Robert S. Donahue sat down with Microwave Journal editors Pat Hindle and Gary Lerude to talk about his market insights, the April MVP, Anokiwave's AWMF–0129 Active Antenna for 5G, and the latest news from Anokiwave. The following are highlights from the interview:

  1. What is new at Anokiwave?
    We are growing profitable in all three of our markets:  A&D, SATCOM, and 5G Telecommunications. We have 10 years of experience designing mmW core ICs and are focused very strongly on that technology. Right now, we are the leader in the market–the only company in the market–with products in these applications. We are focused on ramping product development and will be introducing several new products in the near future. Last year at this time, we introduced the AWMF–0108, a 28 GHz quad core beam steering IC — which has been a phenomenal product for us. This year at IMS, we plan to introduce a 39 GHz companion chipset. We have recently released Ku- and Ka-band single element beam forming/multifunction ICs and we have a new 28 GHz 5G Phased Array Active Antenna driven by our AWMF–0108 IC.

  2. What do you see happening in 5G?
    5G is moving quickly, more so than anyone thought. Last year, we were all surprised when the FCC opened 11 GHz of bandwidth — un unprecedented action to open so much bandwidth in the U.S. at one time. Verizon quickly followed with fixed wireless access – fortuitous for Anokiwave because we introduced a product right at that frequency band, specifically for that application. This year at Mobile World Congress, on day 1 of the show, 22 companies and the standards committee announced that they are releasing a new standard – 5GNR (new radio) and moving that release from 2020 to 2019 – shaving 50%of product development time and time–to–market. The news was shocking for everyone as we all scrambled to understand the ramifications.

    The other emerging trend in 5G is that is it splitting into two groups — a sub 6 GHz market — which will be a large market, similar to a typical telecommunications infrastructure build out. The second group is an emerging market at >20 GHz, one in which Anokiwave has a strong presence. Which applications end up in this band are confusing, however the one slam dunk application will be Verizon's fixed wireless — all experts agree with that. The mobile case is not yet understood. We do see a new mobile term “nomadic” or “super–hot–spots” such as stadiums or other places in which congregations of people gather, becoming the leading mobile application for >20 GHz 5G. To address this dynamic market, we have released a new product, a 28 GHz, 64 element phased array MIMO antenna driven by our AWMF–0108 chip set. A press release by National Instruments detailed the testing of this product with the Verizon waveform showing it achieved 5Gbps and showed it could scale to 20Gbps using 8 data streams.

  3. Why is Anokiwave making Phased Array Antennas?
    Anokiwave is an IC company, we do not intend to become an antenna company. A large pain point in the market place is commercial companies learning to build phased array antennas. To help our customers, we partnered with one of our customers, Ball Aerospace, to build a set of arrays to demonstrate the capability of our ICs — the performance, features, and functionality. The AWMF–0129 has 50 dBmi, or 100W, of EIRP and can support 5Gbps on the Verizon standard. It includes a nice list of features that are hard to demonstrate as ICs — fast beam steering, low latency, kinetic green functionality for power down modes, and ease of use. For customers, we can sell the demo unit to them to help them in their trials. We can also license the IP to them and they can buy our ICs and build their own antennas on their own manufacturing lines. This array has been very well accepted in the market and we plan to introduce an even larger array with 256 elements in the near future. Microwave Journal has promoted this product in its April, 2017 issue as the Most Valuable Product (MVP).

  4. What is the unique value the Anokiwave brings to its customers?
    Our value is proven in the marketplace because we are the only company in the market with extremely competitive mmW Si ICs for phased array applications. In the new world, where the deployments are being pulled in, companies need to react quickly; for 5G, they basically had 50% of their product development time cut. What we do for our customers, and it has been proven in our 18 year history, is in 8–12 months, we can put a Si mmW IC in the market with high quality, good performance, strong features and functions — and go straight to production with the IC. No other company can do that type of timing on an IC development.

At Anokiwave, we're continuing to do our part to make 5G a reality. Interested in joining us? Check out some of our career openings.

The live interview is posted at Microwave Journal's website.