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Spectra7 Announces Entry into 5G Mobile Infrastructure Market with its GaugeChanger Technology

New GC2801 Solution to Support Extended Temperature Requirements of Interconnects for Mobile Operators

Spectra7 Microsystems Inc., a leading provider of high-performance analog semiconductor products for broadband connectivity markets, announced its entry into the 5G mobile infrastructure market. The Company’s new GC2801 product will support extended temperature range requirements for ruggedized outdoor 5G network deployments.
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The 5G infrastructure market is estimated to be valued at USD 784 million in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 48 billion by 2027, at a compounded annual growth rate of 67.1%. Major growth drivers include lower latency in 5G, growing adoption of virtual networking architecture in telecommunications, and growth in mobile data traffic.

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Market Opportunity Expansion

Spectra7 believes interconnect opportunities in the 5G mobile infrastructure market represent a high growth and immediately addressable expansion of the addressable market for Spectra7 GaugeChanger™ products over the next several years. As recently announced in the Company’s Q2 2020 earnings release on August 31st, 2020, the Company’s first 5G mobile operator is already in qualification and is expected to ramp production in 2021.

Spectra7’s opportunities encompass each end of the 5G mobile network, both at the edge and in the core.

5G Network Edge

At the mobile network edge, there is an urgent need for single channel high bandwidth connections between Remote Radio Units and Baseband Units using an open standard protocol called enhanced Common Public Radio Interface (eCPRI). Here, a ruggedized version of the standard SFP connector is typically used. Using optics for longer length connections is a must, but for the many shorter lengths up to 12 meters, Spectra7’s solution is much lower power and less expensive than specialized wide temperature range optical components.

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5G Network Core

In the core, mobile operators are embracing a new core switching architecture called Distributed, Disaggregated Chassis which eliminates traditional large monolithic modular switches and moves to a more flexible design using 1U and 2U “pizza box” switches. This architecture is being led by AT&T who released a 400Gbps PAM4 switch reference design2 in late 2019 to the Open Compute Project. In this architecture, cables replace the traditional backplane. Spectra7 enabled Active Copper Cables (ACCs) are ideal here due to their much thinner gauge, low power and lower cost compared to optics.

GaugeChanger™ GC2801

The GC2801 is the latest addition to the GaugeChanger™ product line and supports a single channel of 56Gbps PAM4 signaling over an extended temperature range of -40 to 85C that is required for the extreme conditions of outdoor 5G deployments. Standard optical components will not support this temperature range, forcing interconnect suppliers to use much more expensive premium priced optical components. Spectra7’s GC2801 provides a low power, cost effective solution for lengths up to 12 meters. The GC2801 enables ACC interconnects compliant with the eCPRI standard that is widely used by mobile carriers.

“We are thrilled to extend our unique technology to an entirely new market,” said Spectra7 CEO Raouf Halim. “We have several customers ready to start building qualification samples with these new GC2801 parts.”

GaugeChanger™ is an innovative and disruptive technology that allows copper to extend much longer lengths without the cost and power penalty of optics. It works equally well at 25Gbps NRZ and 50Gbps PAM-4 enabling new connector standards of 100, 200 and 400Gbps.

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