In an effort to ensure rapid adoption of the emerging high-speed Ultra Wideband (UWB) technology in wireless personal area network (WPAN) applications, Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE:TXN) today announced its plans to offer royalty-free licenses under TI essential patents directed toward the IEEE 802.15.3a standard, pending ratification of the MultiBand OFDM Alliance's (MBOA) proposal as the new IEEE 802.15.3a standard for high speed WPANs.
TI is a member of the MBOA, and is committed to enabling UWB technology. Moving forward, TI's royalty-free offering will enable consumer electronic and PC manufacturers to quickly deliver a variety of high performance, interoperable wireless applications, such as streaming video from set top boxes to HDTVs.
UWB is a wireless technology for transmitting digital data at very high rates over large bandwidths, all while using very low power. UWB is ideally suited for wireless communications, particularly short-range and high-speed data transmissions for personal area network applications.
"TI hopes to promote rapid industry adoption by offering royalty-free WPAN technology to the IEEE 802.15.3a standardization effort, since our technology will be crucial in enabling high-performance WPAN applications," said Yoram Solomon, general manager of TI's consumer networking business unit. "This offering is an effort to remove potential barriers to commercial adoption of this technology. Ensuring interoperability and having multiple silicon sources will help assure market growth of UWB technology."
TI's technology is designed to comply with all existing Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requirements. End users are expected to benefit from the deployment of high-rate TI-based UWB products as soon as early 2005.
Proposal Offers Rapid Path Toward Improved Performance and Functionality
TI's OFDM-based proposal emerged as the principal UWB technology candidate from the March 2003 IEEE 802.15.3a Task Group meeting due to its ability to efficiently capture nearly 100 percent of the multi-path energy, which results in having the best range, its ability to provide a robust link in the presence of multi-path and interference, its relaxed RF and analog requirements, and its ability to coexist with current and future wireless services. These are all key requirements for many consumer electronic applications. The TI proposal has become the basis for a merged proposal sponsored by a new group, the MultiBand OFDM Alliance, with membership of approximately 34 companies.
Essential TI patents directly associated with the MBOA proposal to the IEEE 802.15.3a Task Group will be licensed royalty-free on a worldwide basis. Technology licensing is extremely important to the UWB industry as it seeks to establish a clean and rapid path towards greater performance and functionality. Adoption of the MBOA proposal will help the industry quickly roll out new UWB-enabled products.
"We're pleased to provide UWB component and system developers full access to standards-based, cost-effective solutions for higher performance," said Solomon. "Licensing our UWB patents free of royalties is an important part of our strategy to provide a continuum of high-performance wireless connectivity. Confirmation of this licensing offer will be contained in a written statement to the IEEE."