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Freescale, Motorola leave UWB Forum

Posted: 11 Apr 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Patrick Mannion? Freescale? UWB Forum? Motorola? Pulse-Link?

Freescale Semiconductor is pulling out of the UWB Forum which it co-founded with Motorola and Pulse-Link. A spokesperson at Freescale also confirmed for EE Times that Motorola is also pulling.

The forum was founded in 2004 in an effort to rally support around Freescale's direct-sequence flavor of wireless ultrawideband signaling, becoming the WiMedia Alliance. The alliance is led by heavyweights such as Intel and Philips, as well as a host of startups including Staccato, Alereon and WiQuest.

Freescale's decision to pull out was not unexpected. According to Martin Rofheart, director of Freescale's UWB operations, the decision was motivated by the company's need to focus completely on the wireless USB application, which it calls Cable Free USB. WiMedia Alliance calls its own drive in that direction Wireless USB.

"The forum was de-focused with concerns such as regulations, certification, interoperability and common signaling [schemes]," said Rofheart. "We don't think anything else matters for UWB more than our approach with [Cable Free] USB 2.0. We're showing our hand: the battle for UWB is on. We're pulling out of every effort not related to it."

Rofheart and Freescale are betting on its complete solution for unwiring USB 2.0, versus the WiMedia Alliance's approach, which Rofheart said requires the designer to add hardware, software and protocol stacks.

Though Freescale and Motorola are pulling out of the forum, Pulse-Link is staying in. "The UWB Forum is not made up of one or two companies, it has been and continues to be a federation of companies, groups and organizations promoting the virtues of true impulse base UWB technology that will continue," stated John Santhoff, founder and CTO at Pulse-Link.

- Patrick Mannion
EE Times

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