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Haier, Freescale Demo Ultra-Wideband Technology for Hand-held Electronics
May 19, 2004
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Appliance maker Haier and Freescale Semiconductor, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Motorola, Inc., say they successfully demonstrated a wireless connection between a hand-held camcorder and a plasma television display using Ultra-Wideband (UWB) technology.

Ultra-Wideband is a technology being integrated into home theater and hand-held products for wireless distribution of video and audio signals. The wireless technology is said to transmit an extremely low power signal over a wide swath of radio spectrum. Unlike conventional radio systems that operate within a relatively narrow bandwidth -- i.e. Bluetooth, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11a -- Ultra-Wideband operates across a wide range of frequency spectrum by transmitting a series of very narrow and low power pulses. This reportedly causes less interference than conventional narrowband radio solutions and delivers wire-like performance in an indoor wireless environment.

Haier and Freescale say their demonstration is the first Direct Sequence Ultra-Wideband (DS-UWB) demonstration involving a hand-held product. The demo is being shown at the National Science and Technology Show, which runs May 15-22.

China's Member of the State Council, Ms. Chen Zi Li, visited the wireless demonstration on May 15 and more senior government officers are expected to attend the demonstration over the next few days. The invitation-only exhibition is being hosted by China's Ministry of Science and Technology.

"Haier is committed to advancing home theater and video products," said Ms. Li Li, Marketing Director of Haier. "By demonstrating Ultra-Wideband technology today, we are giving the world a look into the future of a truly wireless home theater. Handheld and mobile products, such as a camcorder, are an ideal target for UWB technology, and we are pleased to be the first company to demonstrate this important capability."

The demonstration included a digital camcorder that wirelessly streamed live video at a data rate of 20 Mbps across the room to a Haier 40-in plasma display. UWB is said to be capable of transmitting data as high as 114 Mbps, enabling up to three simultaneous streams of video over a single UWB connection, if desired. The DS-UWB demonstration showcased the technology's 'wire-like video quality' -- with no distortion or latency, the companies said.

"It's great to be working with a leading consumer products company like Haier," said Martin Rofheart, director of Ultra-Wideband Operations for Freescale. "We successfully demonstrated UWB-enabled products with them at the recent China Cable Broadcaster Networking Exhibition in Beijing. This demonstration using a digital camcorder underscores how DS-UWB can be applied to a variety multimedia-centric products."

Freescale says its Ultra-Wideband XtremeSpectrum chipset is a wireless semiconductor solution with a high data rate and low power consumption. The chipset is said to be ideal for products such as set-top boxes, digital displays, camcorders, DVD players, digital video recorders, and digital cameras to send and receive digital streams of audio and video.

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