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Silicon Image Enters Small Cell Wireless Backhaul Market with Industry’s First Single-Chip Beam-Steering 60GHz RF Transceivers

Silicon Image (NASDAQ: SIMG), a leading provider of advanced connectivity solutions, today announced its entry into the small cell wireless backhaul market with the introduction of two high-throughput, single-chip CMOS beam-steering 60GHz RF transceivers designed to address the rapidly growing market for high-capacity wireless backhaul links in urban environments. These new transceivers deliver robust and interference-free gigabit per second performance in a smaller form factor and at lower installation and maintenance costs than associated with today’s 60GHz wireless backhaul product offerings.

Rapid growth in data consumption on mobile devices is causing a spectrum crunch, especially in urban areas, where reduced capacity can result in dropped calls, unreliable video delivery, or slow web access. Since new spectrum is expensive and unlikely to fully meet projected demand, operators are turning to small cells to increase capacity. Wireless backhaul of small cell networks requires high bandwidth, good spectrum reuse and lack of interference, which are key attributes of 60GHz technology.

“60GHz connectivity will be an exciting enhancement to the capabilities of mobile operators, offering gigabit per second throughputs with minimal regulatory overhead for small cell applications,” said Jonathan Wells, PhD, Principal Backhaul Analyst at Mobile Experts. “With more than one million outdoor small cell backhaul units forecast in 2017, 60GHz wireless will offer a quick way to connect them without regulatory headache, and semiconductor innovations like this are necessary to make wireless backhaul cost-effective. We project the RF semiconductor TAM should reach a level of $150-200M by 2017.”

Silicon Image’s new backhaul products are based on its proven third-generation 60GHz RF beam-steering technology, offering the following advantages compared to current small cell wireless backhaul approaches:

  • Smaller unit size by removing the need for an external fixed antenna
  • Substantially lower installation costs as only rough unit alignment is required
  • Higher reliability due to reducing sensitivity to sway such as wind induced motion
  • Lower power consumption due to CMOS technology

“Silicon Image’s 60GHz RF transceiver technology has the potential to significantly increase the flexibility and reduce the total cost of ownership of 60GHz wireless transport solutions,” said Pete Gelbman, CEO at Alpental Technologies, Inc. “Flexibility and cost are critical for addressing the massive densification and scaling issues associated with emerging deployments of urban WiFi, LTE-Advanced, and a variety of fiber extension applications including future 5G network architectures.”

“Operators must meet consumers’ expectations for service reliability in an increasingly cost sensitive environment,” said Tim Vehling, senior vice president of the connectivity products group at Silicon Image, Inc. “We believe wireless backhaul products that use our new 60GHz devices will deliver the cost, reliability, and performance that operators expect—changing the dynamics of the small cell market.”

SiI6340 and SiI6342 Product Details

Simplified design and reduced bill of materials

The transceivers integrate a 12-channel RF transceiver and all of the required circuitry on a single chip, thereby simplifying the design effort and reducing the bill of materials.

Design flexibility

The SiI6340 has 12 antennae integrated within the chip package for small size and wide beam steering angle. The SiI6342 connects the 60GHz RF channels to an external 12-antenna phased-array that can be drawn directly on the PCB to achieve high antenna gain for greater range.

End product ease of installation and use

Next generation small cells that integrate the SiI6340 or SiI6342 devices use a flat antenna array and electronic beam-steering to perform link self-alignment, significantly reducing the cost of installation, deployment, and maintenance and increasing link robustness to misalignment.

Low power consumption

The use of low power CMOS and consequent high level of integration of the SiI6340 and SiI6342 devices reduce the total power consumption.

Engineering samples and evaluation kits of the SiI6340 and SiI6342 devices will be available in Q2 2014.

Silicon Image at Mobile World Congress from February 24-27, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain

Silicon Image will be demonstrating its 60GHz RF technology within the Alpental proof-of-concept platform, which showcases small form factor, self-aligning and self-maintaining 60GHz multi-gigabit transport links for urban applications Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona, Spain from February 24-27, 2014. Silicon Image’s booth is located in Hall 7, stand 7F31. For editors interested in meeting with Silicon Image during MWC, please contact [email protected] to schedule a briefing.

About Silicon Image, Inc.

Silicon Image is a leading provider of connectivity solutions that enable the reliable distribution and presentation of high-definition content for mobile, consumer electronics, and PC markets. The company delivers its technology via semiconductor and intellectual property products that are compliant with global industry standards and feature market leading Silicon Image innovations such as InstaPort™ and InstaPrevue™. Silicon Image’s products are deployed by the world’s leading electronics manufacturers in devices such as mobile phones, tablets, DTVs, Blu-ray Disc™ players, audio-video receivers, digital cameras, as well as desktop and notebook PCs. Silicon Image has driven the creation of the highly successful HDMI® and DVI™ industry standards, the latest standard for mobile devices – MHL®, and the leading 60GHz wireless HD video standard – WirelessHD®. Via its wholly-owned subsidiary, Simplay Labs, Silicon Image offers manufacturers comprehensive standards interoperability and compliance testing services. For more information, visit us at

Forward-looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities laws and regulations, including, but not limited to, statements regarding the growth in the market for small cell wireless backhaul products and the availability, performance, functionality, features, benefits and applications of Silicon Image’s 60GHz RF beam-steering technology and wireless backhaul products. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including the risk that the market for wireless backhaul products will not grow as anticipated, the risk that Silicon Image’s wireless backhaul products will not perform as anticipated or provide the functionality, features and benefits described in this news release, as well as the risks and uncertainties described from time to time in Silicon Image’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which could cause the actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by these forward-looking statements. Silicon Image assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement.

Silicon Image and the Silicon Image logo are trademarks, registered trademarks or service marks of Silicon Image, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners in the United States and/or other countries.

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