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Freescale, Icron eliminate USB 2.0 wires with UWB

Posted: 27 Jun 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:extremeusb? icron technologies? uwb? pcs? peripherals?

Freescale Semiconductor and Icron Technologies Corp. have demonstrated what they claim as the industry's first USB 2.0 wireless solution using ultra-wideband (UWB). The solution, which combines Icron's ExtremeUSB with Freescale's UWB chipset, is designed to allow manufacturers of PCs, peripherals, and consumer electronics applications to wirelessly enable their USB products.

Unlike other efforts to create an entirely new USB standard to incorporate UWB technology, the companies said that the planned USB-over-UWB wireless solution is USB 2.0-compatible and designed to support existing USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 devices in the market today. As a result, users experience "plug and play" experience out of the box.

OEMs can expect to integrate the Freescale UWB solution featuring USB into small modules the size of typical USB flash drives, which can be plugged into any USB port. For example, a consumer could replace the cable between a laptop and USB printer by simply plugging the module into the USB port on each device, effectively eliminating the cable connection and replacing it with a high speed wireless solution capable of transmitting up to 20 meters.

"Icron's ExtremeUSB technology allows us to leverage the large, installed base of USB applications that desire the high data rate, low power consumption performance of UWB," said Martin Rofheart, director of Ultra-Wideband operations at Freescale. "With a relatively new technology such as UWB, our OEM customers are looking for a proven connection to existing standards -- not layering a new technology onto a newly developed specification."

The primary benefit of Icron's ExtremeUSB solution is the existing USB 1.1 and 2.0 supports that require no additional drivers, host controller changes, or user's configurations. It supports all USB-supported operating systems such as Windows, MAC OS, Linux, UNIX and Solaris. The combination of ExtremeUSB and Freescale's UWB is designed to provide a high-rate, wireless solution that can be used in conjunction with the USB 1.1 and 2.0 devices in the market today.

"We identified Freescale's chipset as a suitable UWB platform for the implementation of our ExtremeUSB technology due to its performance and availability," commented Robert Eisses, vice president of sales and marketing at Icron. "The market wants a simple USB 2.0 wire replacement solution, and this solution is the quickest and easiest way to make that happen, while still supporting the existing USB standards."

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