Focused on delivering the first high-speed personal wireless interconnect, Intel Corporation and other technology industry leaders have formed the Wireless USB Promoter Group. Other members include Agere Systems, HP, Microsoft Corporation, NEC, Philips Semiconductors and Samsung Electronics.
Wireless USB personal connectivity will bring the convenience and mobility of wireless communications to high-speed interconnects for multimedia consumer electronics, PC peripherals and mobile devices.
The promoter group has already begun defining the Wireless USB specification with a targeted bandwidth of 480 Mbps that maintains the same usage and architecture as wired USB as a high-speed host-to-device connection. This will enable an easy migration path for today's wired USB solutions.
The spec will be based on Ultra-Wideband (UWB) radio efforts by the MultiBand OFDM Alliance (MBOA) and WiMedia Alliance, both open industry associations that promote personal-area range wireless connectivity and interoperability among multimedia devices in a networked environment.
The 480 Mbps initial target bandwidth of Wireless USB is comparable to the current wired USB 2.0 standard, and will feature wireless high-data throughput with low power consumption for distances under 10 meters. The Wireless USB interface will deliver the benefits of high-speed wireless connectivity, security, ease-of-use and backward compatibility to customers.
Intel led the formation of the Wireless USB Promoter Group with the understanding that the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) would act as the trade association for the Wireless USB specification. Intel will continue to drive this initiative into the marketplace as the first commercial application to run on top of the Common UWB Radio platform. A completed Wireless USB spec is expected by year's end.
"The Wireless USB Promoter Group is committed to preserving the existing USB device and class driver infrastructure and investment, look-and-feel and ease-of-use of wired USB," said Jeff Ravencraft, Intel technology strategist and USB-IF chairman. "Wireless USB will preserve the functionality of wired USB while also unwiring the cable connection and providing enhanced support for streaming media CE devices and peripherals."
Added Microsoft Corp.'s Tom Phillips, general manager of Windows* Hardware: "The Wireless USB Promoter Group is at the forefront of developing wireless USB specifications that will have widespread benefits for both our customers and the industry. Microsoft is pleased to be a part of this organization and we look forward to the solutions wireless USB interfaces will deliver."
The first Wireless USB implementations are expected to be in the form of discrete silicon that will be introduced in a number of form factors. These include add-in cards and dongles along with embedded solutions to support the technology's introduction and subsequent rapid ramp-up.
Joining the seven promoter group companies as key contributors are Appairent Technologies, Alereon Inc., STMicroelectronics and Wisair.