23 February 2023, Brussels / Paris Pharrowtech: Bridging the Digital Divide with mmWave FWA Pharrowtech is a young company that designs and develops mmWave hardware and software for next-generation wireless applications. Wim Van Thillo, its CEO and Co-Founder, is a seasoned expert in mmWave R&D with more than 15 years of experience in the field. The company is focused on creating best-in-class wireless solutions that are scalable and more cost-effective than fiber alternatives. The global demand for broadband and high internet speeds is increasing, and operators have not been able to keep up. The lack of reliable connectivity and fiber infrastructure in rural and underserved areas has created a digital divide. To bridge this divide, Pharrowtech has developed Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) products that offer a solution to these challenges. Its mmWave technology enables high-speed internet in urban, suburban, and rural locations alike, at a fraction of the rollout cost of fiber. Its solution is an easy-to-deploy alternative that promises to realise the full potential of high-speed Internet of Things (IoT) and virtual reality (VR) and provide better connectivity to people worldwide. Unlocking the Full Potential of FWA for Next-Generation Wireless Applications Pharrowtech's solution is unique because it uses 60 GHz mmWave radio frequency (RF) technology to provide wireless connectivity. While most mmWave usage is centred on the licensed spectrum ranges used by tier-1 operators, a currently underutilized unlicensed band in the 60GHz range can amplify network connectivity in rural and suburban areas. This makes mmWave FWA extremely valuable as it can make it possible for those in non-urban communities to access high-speed connectivity that would otherwise not be logistically possible or cost-effective. To help bridge the connectivity gap, Pharrowtech has developed an IEEE 802.11ay-compliant CMOS RF chip for indoor and outdoor wireless use cases that support the full 57 to 71 GHz bandwidth. This unleashes the full potential of FWA and will revolutionize 5G and WiFi network infrastructure. The RF chip enables many fast-growing use cases requiring reliable, fiber-like data rates that cannot be cost-effectively served with wired technologies, such as 5G and WiFi infrastructure backhauling and next-generation consumer electronics products. Continuous Development and Entering International Markets The pioneering research and development Pharrowtech undertook at imec played a crucial role in making it what it is today. Deep knowledge of technical chip and antenna design, and innovation in nanoelectronics and digital technologies, are at the core of Pharrowtech's mmWave expertise. After successfully launching its RFIC and antenna array, it expanded its presence across international markets and focused on conducting product trials with a diverse customer base. The company is growing constantly, and FWA is being used as a solution to current issues such as digital exclusion. FWA is also poised to solve many commercial issues caused by the lack of adequate connectivity. In 2022, Pharrowtech partnered with one of the world's leading manufacturers of microcontrollers, analogue products, power supplies, and semiconductors so that they could deliver a sleeker product at a lower cost and in a shorter time to market. As a result, the end application required a smaller physical footprint and reduced board space. Furthermore, the company conducted a trial with an in-house antenna measurement system and a material characterisation provider. By combining their Evaluation Kit with the provider's reverberation chamber, over-the-air tests could be conducted without requiring any RF connectors, which reduced the complexity of the test setup and increased the confidence in the results obtained. Consequently, customers could conduct autonomous evaluations with the assurance of obtaining the required quality, reliability, and performance for high-speed wireless communication. Pharrowtech’s IEE 802.11ay-complaint CMOS RFIC was a momentous development in the mmWave industry and went beyond the capabilities of any existing radio transceivers available. This enabled a variety of rapidly expanding next-generation WiFi, 5G, and smart city applications and set the company as a dominant player in the mmWave space. In 2022, Pharrowtech secured a €15 million Series A funding investment. To date, the company has secured €22 million in venture capital. The investment round was led by Innovation Industries and joined by Seed Round investors imec.xpand, Bloc Ventures and KBC Focus Fund. This allowed Pharrowtech to continue developing the world’s first viable wireless alternative for optical fiber. Driving Change through Innovation Pharrowtech sees FWA as an integral part of bridging the digital divide. The company's mmWave technology is going to be revolutionary in creating a world where people can access the metaverse and other extended reality technologies that need high-speed, low-latency internet access to function. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the negative impact of the digital divide, and FWA has emerged as a solution to the challenges of delivering connectivity to rural and underserved areas. By providing reliable and cost-effective high-speed connectivity, Pharrowtech's solution can help bridge this divide and unlock the potential of next-generation technologies. The current economic market is challenging for everyone, but the company’s agility and culture of constant innovation are enabling it to thrive and emerge even stronger. It is growing by the day, and it has expanded its services into the UK, where it now has an office in the Thames Valley staffed with talented engineers and an experienced management team who oversee business operations. The company is constantly exploring new products and services to meet the evolving needs of its customers. Pharrowtech's Participation in TechTour Events and Activities Pharrowtech has benefited greatly from TechTour’s events and activities. TechTour provides the company with the perfect opportunity to connect with like-minded professionals working in the semiconductor industry and raise Pharrowtech's thought leadership within this space. TechTour has also been an excellent forum to network with deep-tech professionals, specifically hardware-oriented Venture Capitalists.