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UWB chips set for video IP nets

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

Keywords:Loring Wirbel? EE Times? Tzero Technologies Inc.? two-chip UWB set? Ultra-MIMO architecture?

After months of rumors regarding its ultrawideband plans, Tzero Technologies Inc. has taken the wraps off a two-chip UWB set that dispenses with the serial wireless USB applications pursued by many, in favor of an IP-networking, point-to-multipoint approach to distributing broadband video in the home.

Dan Karr, senior VP of marketing and sales at Tzero, said the company's Ultra-MIMO architecture for antenna diversity makes more sense applied to broadband IP than to simple cable replacement. It also allows for better range, link availability and through-wall RF penetration than using MIMO in an 802.11 network. Link reliability is particularly relevant for carrying MPEG streams, where Tzero's typical reliability of 95 percent to 98 percent translates to less than one packet loss in an MPEG stream in two hours.

Tzero implemented both its baseband and RF chip in CMOS, realizing RF performance of -83dBm receive sensitivity and -26dBm error vector magnitude. Using MIMO antenna diversity allows an error-free signal to be transmitted in the presence of an interfering signal 10x stronger.

The multiple-room applications are driven by Tzero's non-line-of-sight performance. Data streams of speeds greater than 100Mbps can be carried 15m to 30m, even between floors or in different rooms of a house.

The baseband device, the TZ7110, integrates upper- and lower-layer medium-access control, a memory controller, an encryption processor based on the Advanced Encryption Standard, a modem, antenna-processing logic and several host-related peripherals. The companion TZ7210 integrates on-chip power amps and low-noise amps, a voltage-controlled oscillator, a PLL, and transmit and receive blocks.

Tzero supplies a software stack that supports Windows, Linux and several real-time kernels, and a series of APIs.

Meanwhile, Tzero has co-developed a "gold standard" for UWB PHY testing with Tektronix Inc. and demonstrated its chips at the June 20 Wireless USB Developers Conference. The chips were tested with Tek's TDS6154C oscilloscope.

- Loring Wirbel
EE Times

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