New protocol promises to smash Gigabit wireless impasse

UWB, the future wireless standard that could see half-a-Gigabit wireless links replacing USB and Bluetooth, could at last break out of its standards purgatory.

A new proposal by PulseLink suggests any number of UWB standards could operate, if devices use an agreed low-speed signalling mode to negotiate. To sidestep the standards snarl-up at the IEEE, the idea will be put to the world's telecoms body, the ITU, in June.

Ultra-wide band radio sends data in pulses across a wide frequency band (more details here). Legal in the US - as long as it uses less power than normal RF leakage - it still has problems finding a wider market. The chip-makers are still only at sample stage of silicon, but the bigger problem is that there is no standard. The popular MBOA Alliance, proposed by Intel and friends, is always blocked at the IEEE standards body by a smaller group backed by Motorola, based around direct sequencing. Motorola has so far managed to muster a big enough minority, leaving the IEEE standards process stuck.

"A common signalling mode could iron out regulatory differences as well as standards," said Bruce Watkins, chief operating officer of PulseLink, at the Wireless LAN event in London this week. All vendors have to do is agree on a simple low-speed communications link, and then devices can use this to make contact and negotiate to speak in any higher-speed UWB standard they both understand.

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News source: TechWorld

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