Peraso looks to scale WiGig technology over next 6 months

Peraso Technologies, the Toronto-based semiconductor company focused on WiGig, recently celebrated two milestones: It launched its WiGig W110 chipset into production, and it struck an agreement with IgniteNet to supply Peraso WiGig infrastructure components for the core 60 GHz functionality in its MetroLinq line of outdoor wireless products.

Peraso, which employs 65 people, launched its WiGig chipset in December and it's one of the few companies in the world, along with Intel and Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), that have announced production silicon for WiGig, according to Ron Glibbery, president and CEO of Peraso. WiGig was originally developed in the WiGig Alliance, but it consolidated into the Wi-Fi Alliance in 2013. WiGig products (802.11ad) operate in the 60 GHz band and deliver multi-gigabit speeds and low latency.

Now that the company has announced production availability, "our focus is to really proliferate the technology," Glibbery told FierceWirelessTech. "My goal for the company is to make our technology scalable so that we can really grow our company and scale our company based on this underlying technology. That's our goal over the next six months-- to have our products in a position" where it can support a larger number of customers. It's not for lack of interest – there is significant interest out there -- "the real issue is our ability to support a large customer base."

Glibbery added that WiGig products literally haven't been available until now, but at this year's CES, "we're really starting to see a lot of 60 GHz products, including us," and "you're going to start to see a lot more about the 60 GHz band because the silicon wasn't there to support those bands, and now it is. It's just taken longer than people had hoped."

While it might look like the company competes with Intel and Qualcomm, it's more of a complementary situation, he said. "We all support the standard, but we all support different products within the standard," he explained. For example, at CES 2016, Intel was focused on the PC market, and it had several design wins to talk about with PC makers like Lenovo. TP-Link used CES 2016 to unveil what it calls the world's first multi-band WiGig router, which uses Qualcomm technology and is expected to be available in U.S. stores early this year.

Where Peraso fits is on the peripheral side, whether it be USB dongles or displays, supplying technology for an assortment of devices that attach to equipment like laptops. "We are all really striving to create a WiGig ecosystem," Glibbery said. In that regard, "we really are complementary and cooperative."

U.S. wireless operator interest in using a version of LTE in the unlicensed band (LTE-U) is having a positive impact on Peraso, he said. While a lot of people in the MSO community see LTE-U in the 5 GHz band as a threat, there is not LTE in the 60 GHz band, "so you can imagine the interest that's being generated in our technology," he said. "That's been a really positive dynamic for us."

Of course, the FCC's decision to study spectrum bands above 24 GHz also has a positive impact, including the proposal to add two more channels in the band. With the company's expertise in high-band frequency radios, it expects growth from 5G, and it's even been approached to supply prototype 5G products. The problem is the standard isn't yet written or set, so it's tough to commit at this stage, Glibbery said.

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