Monday, September 25, 2006

USB gets unwired in San Fran

This week’s Intel Developer Forum will be something of a coming out party for wireless USB with lots of demos of working prototype systems and a ready-to-go testing and logo program.

I may be breaking embargo by about 20 minutes here, but today (Tuesday, Sept. 26), the USB Implementers Forum will announced the availability of the Certified Wireless USB Compliance and Certification Program with test specs and procedures available online. Initially, Intel will host testing at one of its labs. Later, the group will announce plans for compliance workshops for 2007.

NXP, formerly Philips Semi, jumped the gun a bit, announcing a “Certified Wireless USB” controller Sept. 18. It will show at IDF today a prototype MP3 player using the controller as well as “some other [interesting] UWB stuff,” according to a comment a spokesman posted to my Sept. 14 blog.

Likewise, Alereon will demo tonight a Kodak camera transferring photos to a PC its wireless USB chip. Wonder what chip the camera uses and whether it’s a real product? I remember the Kodak techies sniffing around the Bluetooth pavilion at Comdex (anybody recall Comdex?) about five years ago, complaining that a Mbit was just not enough bandwidth for them.

In addition, WiQuest Communications today announces the availability of Windows Vista drivers in addiiton to its XP drivers for its UWB chips. So software, hardware and standards tests all appear to be ready to go with each company ready with some piece of the puzzle.

With HP, Dell and others gearing up for wireless USB, Freescale will have a hard time finding sockets for its incompatible version of ultrawideband. Who will want a device that uses the latest fast wireless link, but won’t work with their computer? –rbm

1 comment:

Dave Sroka said...

Certified Wireless USB from the USB-IF is achieving more major milestones on a daily basis, as new products come to market and compliance testing becomes available. At NXP, formly Philips, we have recently announced sampling of a new device "based upon" the Certified Wireless USB specification. NXP has been working with the USB-IF testing lab for well over a year in development of the actual test suites, and it is our intention to go through testing as it now becomes available. Needless to say, because the term Certified is part of the naming of the technology it creates subtleties, so always watch for terms like "based on, based upon" versus "completed and passed compliance testing" when reading about new products, and remember Certified Wireles USB from USB-IF is the technology that has been created by the USB-IF trade association with the backing of its hundreds of's the real thing. It's architected for UWB wireless from the ground up.