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Wireless USB scheme attains 480Mbps

Posted: 01 Mar 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:patrick mannion? ee times? USB dongle? MAC? WiMedia?

Wisair says that its Wireless USB dongle and hub reference design will let consumer equipment such as printers, scanners and cellular devices connect to a USB-enabled PC at rates of up to 480Mbps.

Based on WiMedia's multiband-OFDM ultrawideband specification, the reference design uses Wisair's fully WiMedia-compliant silicon germanium physical-layer chip and proprietary media-access controller (MAC). "It's not fully compliant with WiMedia at the MAC level," said Amir Freund, vice president of marketing at Wisair.

Freund expects a compliant MAC to debut in the first quarter. Plans call for an integrated, single all-CMOS chip by mid-2006, at which time the price will fall to less than $5, from under $10 for the two-chip design. The MAC specification itself is finished and undergoing peer review, the company said.

The current design has a device-side focus, Freund said, with a strong emphasis on multiple interfaces, including SDIO, CompactFlash and MPEG. "For the PC host, we're collaborating with Intel, with Intel providing the host chip," he said.

The chips integrate detect-and-avoid (DAA) capability, which Freund said is critical in places like Japan and Europe, where ultrawideband's coexistence with other radios is being examined as those regions look to define rules for UWB operation. Since the WiMedia Alliance has not yet standardized a format for DAA, Wisair's design is proprietary, although the company is synchronizing its parameters with those of Alereon, another WiMedia-based chip provider.

- Patrick Mannion
EE Times

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