Friday, December 01, 2006

Wireless USB goes upband

It almost missed the fact that the USB Implementers Forum announced this week plans to support ultrawideband at frequencies above 6GHz. This apparently is aimed at opening the door to using the technology on cellphones and consumer devices without fear of interfering with cellphone and other traffic in the current wireless USB space below 5GHz.

I know from reporting back at WinHEC this spring that cellphone makers in the Bluetooth Special Interest Group were saying they didn’t want to see Bluetooth running in the 3.1-4.8GHz UWB bands that may be used for 4G cellular. Folks at Cambridge Silicon Research were suggesting they had a way around the interference--perhaps using cognitive radio techniques--but I have heard no follow up on that.

In any case the wireless USB folks aim to support 6GHz+ starting in mid-2007 and expect products out in thos frequencies in early 2008. The first wireless USB products in the existing sub-5GHz range should be out shortly and be one of the hot items of CES in January. --rbm

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