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Industry Leaders Form Wireless USB Promoter Group
Feb 19, 2004
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Focused on delivering the first high-speed personal wireless interconnect, Intel
Corporation and industry leaders including Samsung Electronics, Philips Semiconductors, HP, Microsoft Corporation, and Agere Systems have formed the Wireless USB Promoter Group.

Wireless USB personal connectivity is said to bring the convenience and mobility of wireless communications to high-speed interconnects for multimedia consumer electronics, PC peripherals, and mobile devices.

The group has defined the Wireless USB specification with a targeted bandwidth of 480 Mbps that maintains the same usage and architecture as wired USB as a high-speed host-to-device connection. The target bandwidth of Wireless USB is comparable to the current wired USB 2.0 standard, and will feature wireless high-data throughput with low power consumption for distances under 10 m. The Wireless USB interface is said to feature high-speed wireless connectivity, security, ease-of-use, and backward compatibility.

The spec will be based on Ultra-Wideband (UWB) radio efforts by the MultiBand OFDM Alliance (MBOA) and WiMedia Alliance, both open industry associations that promote personal-area range wireless connectivity and interoperability among multimedia devices in a networked environment.

Intel led the formation of the Wireless USB Promoter Group with the understanding that the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) would act as the trade association for the Wireless USB specification. Intel will continue to drive this initiative into the marketplace as the first commercial application to run on top of the Common UWB Radio platform. A completed Wireless USB spec is expected by the end of 2004.

"The Wireless USB Promoter Group is committed to preserving the existing USB device and class driver infrastructure and investment, look-and-feel and ease-of-use of wired USB," said Jeff Ravencraft, Intel technology strategist and USB-IF chairman. "Wireless USB will preserve the functionality of wired USB while also unwiring the cable connection and providing enhanced support for streaming media CE devices and peripherals."

The first Wireless USB implementations are expected to be in the form of discrete silicon that will be introduced in a number of form factors. These include add-in cards and dongles along with embedded solutions to support the technology's introduction and subsequent rapid ramp-up.

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