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June 05, 2013

ANADIGICS Advances MIMO Technology with 802.11ac Compatible AWL5905

ANADIGICS has announced the release of a new line of WiFi 802.11 ac power amplifiers that offer improved data throughput, a smaller footprint, less power consumption and longer battery life. Another critical feature of the amplifiers is their ability to help deliver rich media content over a longer range.

One might have to be an EE major to fully appreciate the benefits of MIMO and its internals. In a nutshell, the technology uses multiple smart antennas for receiving and transmitting signals. It results in faster performance without requiring an increase in power or bandwidth.

The IEEE 802.11ac standard calls for significantly higher performance than the previous standard, 802.11n. Compliant devices run in the 5GHz band and have data throughput of 1Gbps, a 67 percent improvement over 802.11n. Industry predictions expect one billion devices to be 802.11ac compliant by 2015.

Based in Warren, NJ, ANADIGICS, Inc. develops radio frequency integrated circuits (RFIC) for wireless using a patented manufacturing process known as InGaP-Plus that reduces costs with more flexibility.

The company was founded in 1985 and holds 75 patents; its latest issued in 2012 for a Multi-stage power amplifier with enhanced efficiency. Many of the other patents deal with amplification technology.

In spite of the company’s technological savvy, the past 12 months have been a struggle for ANADIGICS with sales growth of -26.3 percent and income growth of -41.6 percent. The numbers can be attributed to the loss of Blackberry as a customer in 2012. In addition to the announcement of the new line of 802.11ac amplifiers, other encouraging news has come with Samsung recently announcing that ANADIGICS would provide amplifier chips for the Galaxy S4. Ron Michels was recently named the company’s chairman of the board.

According to Lew Solomon, the previous chairman, said, “The ANADIGICS Board is extremely pleased with the steps that Ron and his team have taken to turn around our new product development performance and position the Company for much improved financial performance."

The development of 802.11ac amplification technology that is expected to be used in 1 billion devices in two years and Samsung choosing ANADIGICS to provide chips for its phone appear to be encouraging developments after losing Blackberry. The new amplifier chips will consume less power, but it’s not known if this improvement is incremental or not.

One of the next proverbial improved mousetraps in mobile devices would come from allowing users to stream media without draining the battery so much. The first company to develop such technology will have a huge advantage over its competition.

Edited by Ryan Sartor

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