As demand for broadband internet network capacity skyrockets, DSL – the legacy phone line system – is headed straight into a brick wall. For this dilemma, the Imec spin-off Pharrowtech is proposing a new take on an old technology: fixed wireless access.
Since 2005, Imec has made big strides in the development of RF, analog and mixed-signal designs for both radar and high-speed wireless communications. In 2015, under the guidance of Wim Van Thillo, the Belgian research and development powerhouse started a number of R&D programs spanning multiple frequencies from 140 GHz, for applications in radar, down to 28 GHz for 5G wireless. By 2017, Van Thillo saw an emerging business opportunity in the field of millimeter-wave-based fixed wireless access. Together with Imec, they decided that the 60 GHz technology, used for wireless communications, was both mature and robust enough that it was ready to be spun out. The result: Pharrowtech, run by Van Thillo, the company’s co-founder and CEO.