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Magnacom claims wired/wireless modulation breakthrough

Rick Merritt

December 17, 2013

Rick MerrittDecember 17, 2013

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Magnacom emerges from stealth mode today, claiming it has a new twist on digital modulation technology that provides big gains for any wired or wireless network. The company will license its technology on which it already has 14 US patents, all granted in less than a year.

The startup will demonstrate in a private suite at the Consumer Electronics Show an FPGA board using its technology to deliver a 10dB signaling advantage compared to QAM4096, the most powerful version of the quadrature amplitude modulation scheme widely used in communications today.

The improvement could be used to cut power or spectrum requirements in half or to send data up to four times further than with the existing QAM approach, the startup claims. It requires changes in hardware that use less than a square millimeter of silicon in a 28nm process, it said.

The company's so-called wave modulation technology "is practical and it's fairly surprising to people who have been in the field that you can get these kinds of gains," said Jason Trachewsky, a communications expert and serial entrepreneur compensated by Magnacom to review the technology.

"Some of the concepts are familiar -- no one invents anything from thin air -- but it is a pretty novel approach, focused on a computationally effective way to get capacity gains on non-linear channels," he said.

The technology was developed by Amir Eliaz, the startup's CTO, who was vice president of R&D for Provigent, a wireless backhaul startup acquired by Broadcom. At a conference in Israel, a mutual friend introduced Eliaz to Yossi Cohen, an engineer who rose to executive positions at National, Broadcom, and Motorola Mobility.

Cohen was seeking new opportunities after Google acquired Motorola Mobility and installed new management. Eliaz wanted to share his work on modulation.

"I intended to meet with him for an hour -- there was a fireside chat with Israeli President Shimon Peres coming up at the conference -- but I ended up staying four hours," said Cohen who became co-founder and chief executive of Magnacom. "My friends tease me that I gave up a meeting with the president of Israel," Cohen said.

"I was skeptical initially due to the claims [Eliaz] made -- he came across as a scientist," said Cohen who admitted he had "a tough time assessing" the technology.

To read more, go to “Patents on the fast track.” 

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