GenXComm gets $7M in funding round led by Intel Capital

GenXComm team (GenXComm)
The GenXComm team, based in Austin, Texas, just secured $7 million in series A funding. (GenXComm)

GenXComm, a startup spun out of the University of Texas (UT) at Austin that is focused on self-interference cancellation (S-SIX) technology, announced the initial closing of a $7 million series A investment round led by Intel Capital.

As operators increasingly are looking for ways to make the most of their existing spectrum, GenXComm says its technology is poised to unleash the full potential of that spectrum.

Using S-SIX provides the ability to reduce or eliminate interference that prevents a simultaneous high-powered transmission and a low-level reception to coexist on a single frequency or channel at the same time, according to the startup.

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Thus, the benefits include doubling the effectiveness of the available spectrum by enabling talk while listen and increasing network performance up to 30 times for dense environments, all while maintaining backwards compatibility with the infrastructure.

CEO Sriram Vishwanath, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at UT, took a leave from the university to found GenXComm with Ph.D. student Hardik Jain, who is now CTO of GenXComm. They've been working on the technology for several years now and decided to spin it out and make a go of it.

The cable (DOCSIS) industry is one of the first they're going after but it also applies to Wi-Fi, 5G and the IoT. 

“Wireless is clearly our next big focus,” said Dave Perry, senior adviser at GenXComm.

At a basic level, the technology is echo cancellation, so any echoes or reflections that come back to the radio are nixed and it can listen to the other radios in the environment. The idea is to allow channels to be stacked with no empty spectrum between them, thereby generating new applications, revenue streams and business models for telecom operators and the Industry 4.0.

Plans call for getting the technology small enough to fit into IoT devices and basically every smart object, Vishwanath told FierceWirelessTech.

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Three things differentiate GenXComm from the competition: First, it can work on a wide swath of spectrum—“If you want to talk millimeter wave, we can do it. If you want to do sub-6, we can do sub-6 across wide swaths of spectrum,” Vishwanath said.

Second, it can do it in a way that makes sense on a handset, and third—perhaps most importantly, it’s “frictionless,” providing the ability to solve a lot of problems without disrupting existing network elements.

“Full duplex technology has the potential to have a tremendous impact in a number of areas that are important to Intel, including Wi-Fi, Broadband Access, and 5G,” said Dan Artusi, vice president and general manager of Intel's Connected Home Division, in a press release. “GenXComm’s unique approach to solving the full duplex problem has the potential to significantly increase the speed and capacity of these networks. Given the large increases in the amount of data moving across different networks, technologies such as those pioneered by GenXComm will become increasingly important in the future.”

Other investors are Azure Capital Partners, Bandgap Ventures, Capital Factory, FAM Capital Partners, Lip-Bu Tan, UT Horizon Fund and WS Investment Co. The series A round, which could have additional investors join in a secondary closing, will be used to expand the company’s R&D team.

The company employs about 20 people and could double in size over the next 18 months. Over the past 18 months, GenXComm has conducted tests or demos at 24 GHz, as well as the 3.5 GHz CBRS and other bands. The 3.5 GHz band in the U.S., in particular, has been of interest to the cable industry as it represents new opportunities for spectrum sharing and innovation.

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