Several Bristol technologies were on show at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this month.

The show attracts thousands of people from around the world to see the latest communications technologies.

This included Blu Wireless Technology whose 60GHz millimetre wave gigabit wireless links were being used by Spanish research group CTTC as part of the X-Haul European project, while German chip giant Infineon Technologies is working with XMOS Semiconductor to use radar to track someone using a smart microphone.

The gigabit wireless demonstration features the connection between two transport nodes where a mmWave link from BWT using the IEEE 802.11ad standard acts as primary link technology, with a Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11ac) secondary link to increase resilience.

TS_CTTCIn the demo, a 4K video file is transmitted between hosts connected to the transport nodes. Initially, this transmission is done through the mmWave link (primary link). In the event of a link failure, the transport node detecting this anomaly informs the SDN controller, which immediately after switches the transmission to the Wi-Fi link (secondary link). When the transport node reports the recovery of the primary link, the SDN switches again the transmission to the primary link. All of this is handled without any interruption in the streaming of the 4K video.

The researchers from the X-Haul project visited Bristol last month.

Radio for disaster recovery

AceAxis, which has a design team in Bristol, has launched a flexible system for remote radio units (RRU). Flexar is aimed at disaster recovery, hardened industrial radio networks, and ground-based and airborne transport, as well as small cells and macrocells.

“We are committed to working towards open standards… to reduce complexity and simplify radio”


The team has been designing remote radio heads in Bristol for over ten years, and over 70,000 units have been shipped in the last five years. The key feature is that Flexar is configurable for any frequency band in the 400MHz to 6GHz, and with either FDD or TDD duplex schemes. It can also handle LTE-A carrier aggregation of up to four component carriers (4CC) and up to 8 x 8 MIMO.

“Traditionally radios are designed to order, and follow a lengthy development process, as well as requiring specialist installation,” said Steve Cooper, CEO of AceAxis. “We are committed to working towards open standards in the key areas of open interfaces, standard radio modules, test, and software, in order to reduce complexity and simplify radio, and launching Flexar is part of this strategy. By creating partnerships and challenging conventional design processes, as well as increasing volumes to lower costs, we believe that this will this help to open up the supply chain, enabling radios to become a commodity item accessible to a wide range of customers.”

Microphone tech for security

Another Bristol technology from XMOS Semiconductor was on show at MWC.  It features a combination of radar and silicon microphone sensors from Infineon and an audio processor from XMOS. The devices provide far field voice capture by audio beamforming combined with radar to detect the presence of a user. This combination is aimed at smart TV and set-top boxes, secure keyless entry systems, and other voice-operated consumer devices.


The XMOS audio processor analyses the signal data from an array of Infineon’s digital microphones, adjusting the angular and distance data from each microphone to produce a beam at an angle identified by the radar data. A lit LED indicates presence detection and where sound is taken from. The combination of the radar and the XMOS beamformer allows the microphone to target a specific object precisely, even with the user moving around and indistinctive noise.

Want to see more cutting-edge South West tech? Venturefest Bristol & Bath showcases the region’s smart city tech