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WiMedia Alliance Endorsing MBOA Ultrawideband Specifications
May 6, 2004
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The WiMedia Alliance announced its endorsement of the MultiBand OFDM Alliance (MBOA) ultrawideband (UWB) specifications for use with the WiMedia Convergence Platform. According to WiMedia, this will pave the way for wireless connectivity between electronics products in consumer electronics, PC, and mobile segments.

The endorsement pairs the MBOA's efforts to deliver a high data-rate, short-range wireless UWB radio with the convergence architecture being developed by the WiMedia Alliance. The combination provides a foundation for the implementation of wireless versions of 1394, USB, and Internet-Protocol-based application protocols. The WiMedia Convergence Platform is said to allow the diverse protocols to coexist in the same physical location with efficient and fair access to the UWB radio channel.

The WiMedia Alliance said its mission is to promote wireless connectivity and interoperability among multimedia devices. The initial focus was based on the IEEE 802.15.3 standard and in anticipation of its UWB physical layer extension. The leading contender in this IEEE process is the proposal from the MBOA. However, during the past year, the WiMedia said IEEE has not confirmed the new physical layer, prompting it to take the direct action of endorsing the technical direction.

"The overwhelming industry support for the MBOA, now with more than 100 members, simplified our decision to move forward with this endorsement," said Jim Meyer, WiMedia Board Member. "To provide value to our members, and their customers, the WiMedia Alliance maintains alignment with the companies developing silicon and the end products."

According to Kurt Scherf, vice president and principal analyst for Parks Associates, "WiMedia's endorsement of the MBOA specification provides the industry with some official consensus on a solution that has garnered industry support from a wide spectrum of the computing, consumer electronics, and mobile market leaders. This industry-wide support is essential in matching UWB's market reality to its very high expectations."

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