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Nokia touts Wibree as open industry initiative

Posted: 19 Oct 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Nokia? Wibree? Bluetooth? Nokia Research Center?

Nokia unveiled the Wibree radio technology as an open industry initiative that complements close range communication up to 10m (local connectivity), extending Bluetooth device connectivity to small devices while keeping energy consumption at minimum. Wibree is the first open technology offering connectivity between mobile devices or PCs, as well as small, button cell battery power devices such as watches, wireless keyboards, toys and sports sensors.

The complementary technology has two implementationsas dual-mode or stand-alone alternatives. For dual-mode implementations, the Wibree functionality is an add-on feature inside Bluetooth circuitry. The dual modes are targeted at mobile phones, multimedia computers and PCs. Meanwhile, stand-alone implementations are power and cost optimized designs targeted at, for example, sport, wellness, and human HID product categories.

The technology, developed by Nokia Research Center, operates in 2.4GHz ISM band with physical layer bit rate of 1Mbps and provides link distance of 5-10m. Consuming only a fraction of the power used by other radio technologies, Wibree enables smaller and less costly implementations while allowing easy integration with Bluetooth solutions.

Specification for the technology is currently ongoing. Nokia is defining the Wibree interoperability specification together with a group of leading companies representing semiconductor manufacturers, device vendors and qualification service providers. The technology will be made available to the industry through an open and preferably existing forum enabling wide adoption of the technology. The forum solution is under evaluation and will be defined upon finalization of the specification. The first commercial version of the interoperability specification will be available Q2 2007, according to Nokia's announcement.

Members of the group defining the specification include Broadcom Corporation, CSR, Epson and Nordic Semiconductor, having licensed the Wibree technology for commercial chip implementation and Suunto and Taiyo Yuden, contributing to the interoperability specification in their respective areas of expertise.

"Wibree technology is an important development that opens up new market opportunities and a whole new range of possibilities for mobile users," says Dr. Bob Iannucci, head of Nokia Research Center. "Our aim is to establish an industry standard faster than ever before by offering an interoperable solution that can be commercialized and incorporated into products quickly."

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