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U.W.B Products Skip Standards
By: MarkJ - 06 January, 2005 (1:06 PM)

The next generation of super-fast wireless networking, known as UltraWideBand (UWB), may suffer due to continued difficulties over standards. Products will soon launch without any IEEE certification:

The prototypes of cell phones, high-definition televisions, laptops and wireless access points using UWB, as ultrawideband is more commonly known, should be available commercially by the end of the year, the manufacturers say.

Freescale Semiconductor, formerly a Motorola unit, and chipmaker Intel are backing competing blueprints for UWB that manufacturers will use to ensure compatible products. But neither side's proposals have gathered enough support from Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers members to be designated the standard. The IEEE subcommittee developing the UWB standard is expected to meet by the end of the month to try it again, but no one is expecting a breakthrough.

Unlike wireless technologies such as Bluetooth, 802.11b and 802.11a, which work in relatively narrow bandwidths, UWB operates over a wide range of frequency bands by sending very narrow and low-power pulses. Because it uses a broader spectrum, lower power and pulsed data, it is capable of delivering wire-level performance, making it suitable for devices that require higher data transfer speeds. For instance, media players with 1Gbps UWB capability to transfer could transfer an entire movie in MPEG-4 format in a few seconds.

Nobody appreciates technology, which despite being based on a similar core, would be unable to talk with each other due to a lack of standards. Networking is very much about communicating across different platforms.

While none of this is new, the difference now is that products are nearing launch and soon it will be too late for the first batch to adopt a standard prior to introduction. More @ ZDNet.

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