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UWB wireless standard effort continues breakneck pace

Posted: 31 Jul 2003 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:ieee 802.15.3a? uwb? mboa? parthusceva?

The IEEE 802.15.3a working group maintained its breakneck pace last week when it took up the Multiband-OFDM Alliance's (MBOA) proposal for a multi-band, frequency-hopping ultra wideband (UWB) implementation.

The selection puts the group on track to complete a standard for short-range wireless communications at rates of up to 480Mbps. The standard could go to a ballot by the middle of 2004 and be completed before the end of next year.

The group started in February with 31 proposals, though the total quickly dropped due to dropouts and industry group mergers such as the Multi-band Coalition. A week before the IEEE meet in San Francisco, Texas Instruments merged its multi-band OFDM proposal with the Coalition's to form the MBOA.

The move left Xtremespectrum Inc. (XSI), backed by Motorola, as the most likely alternative of the six alternatives up for discussion as the working group convened last week. Early in the discussions, the XSI/Motorola camp was joined by ParthusCeva, which dropped its own proposal.

"We're definitely on schedule, if not ahead," said Bob Heile, chair of the .15.3a working group leading the effort. Though the MBOA failed to get the critical 75 percent vote it needed for confirmation, Heile said there's a good chance it will do so when the group meets again between September 15 and 19 in Singapore, to resolve remaining issues.

Until then, said Heile, those who voted against the MBOA proposal will air their reservations in order to give MBOA a chance to resolve issues. Most revolve around the legality of frequency-hopping in the context of FCC regulations as well as multi-user performance and interference rejection.

If the issues are not resolved, the process will "reset," said Heile, and votes will be recast and the XSI/Motorola/ParthusCeva proposal will be back on the table for consideration.

- Patrick Mannion

EE Times

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