€400,000 Irish project aims to develop next-gen chips for 5G

19 Feb 2019

Dr James Rohan, senior staff scientist at the Tyndall National Institute. Image: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Irish chip manufacturer Arralis and the Tyndall National Institute have signed a €400,000 deal to develop a chip with a whole range of future uses.

Two leading centres of data transmission hardware from Ireland are teaming up to create a new chip capable of handling the enormous data streams set to come with autonomous cars, satellite communications and 5G. Arralis – an international tech manufacturer with its head office in Limerick – revealed it has signed a €400,000 deal with Cork’s Tyndall National Institute to develop next-generation mmWave (millimetre wave) fabrication technology.

Supported by Enterprise Ireland through the Innovation Partnership programme, both groups said the development of new monolithic microwave integrated circuits is vital given the growth of data-centric traffic, increased demands on our current communications networks and future internet of things (IoT) application requirements.

The mmWave chips would support data transmissions using Ka and W band wireless communications for 5G communications up to 60 times faster than 4G networks.

“Our data-hungry society demands constant, uninterrupted access to more and more information, and this demand will only increase in the future. New cost-effective, high-volume and geometry-scaled mmWave manufacturing is needed to meet future IoT demands,” said Marie Bourke, Arralis business process manager and technical programme manager.

“The partnership of two leaders in this area, Arralis and Tyndall, will enable us to take a step closer to global interconnectivity through new integrated mmWave technologies.”

Meanwhile, Tyndall’s senior strategic business development executive, Carlo Webster, said: “Tomorrow’s cars will be computers on wheels and will require Ka band mmWave technology to simplify and support the communication protocol between the car and its environment.”

Established in 2013 by aerospace engineer Barry Lunn and Mike Gleaves, Arralis has won major contracts with the European Space Agency, the UK Ministry of Defence, Beijing Bluesky Aviation Technology and Sinotek.

This isn’t the first deal Tyndall has made with a chip manufacturer, having last November announced a partnership with Analog Devices to pool knowledge concerning research, intellectual property development and talent acquisition.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic