Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. (NYSE:FSL - News) is the first company to receive Federal Communications Commission (FCC) certification for its Ultra-Wideband (UWB) communications solution. With this certification, Freescale can begin commercial shipments of its XS110 chipset immediately. This enables Freescale's customers to design UWB technology into their consumer electronics applications for unlicensed operation anywhere in the United States.
UWB allows consumers to create a home theater environment without cables. It also provides instantaneous, wireless transfer of images from a digital camera to a PC/laptop or television. Employees can connect laptops and projectors without wires and music fans can transmit multiple megabytes of MP3 audio from laptops to MP3 players. Initial consumer applications are expected to include large screen displays (plasma, LCD), digital video recorders and set-top boxes, with mobile applications such as portable hard drives and digital cameras to follow later in 2005.
"By working closely with the FCC over the past two years, we felt confident that our direct sequence UWB (DS-UWB) approach would comply and enable coexistence with other wireless technologies," said Martin Rofheart, director of UWB operations for Freescale. "With the FCC's action, we're now focused on delivering UWB product to our consumer electronics customers so their products will be able to reach the U.S. market as early as the holiday season."
The XS110 chipset uses the DS-UWB approach, which is currently a leading candidate for the IEEE 802.15.3 standard for high-speed wireless personal area networks (WPANs). Using DS-UWB, the chipset achieves over 110 megabits per second (Mbps) data rates and consumes minimal power, making it ideal for multimedia applications requiring the wireless distribution of audio and video.
The FCC's UWB Report & Order
The FCC approved rules for the commercial use of Ultra-Wideband on February 14, 2002 and the First Report & Order was published in April 2002 (http://www.fcc.gov), constituting formal approval of unlicensed spectrum between 3.1 GHz and 10.6 GHz for Ultra-Wideband technology. Prior to FCC certification, Freescale was operating under special license while sampling products to customers and undergoing FCC and third-party interference testing. Following rigorous testing by the FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology Laboratory, Freescale's XS110 solution met the Part 15 emission limits. It also adhered to the spectral mask set forth in the FCC's 2002 UWB Report & Order. This spectral mask requires Ultra-Wideband operation within the allocated 7.5 GHz of spectrum at extremely low power levels to protect existing spectrum users including cell phones, GPS systems and satellites.