TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Format War Looms for New Wireless Standard

Format War Looms for New Wireless Standard

Monty Solomon (
Sun, 22 Jan 2006 23:16:50 -0500

By Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer

NEW YORK --A technology that promises to replace the cables behind TV
sets and entertainment centers with wireless connections appears to be
headed for a format war, after two industry organizations formally
broke off their collaboration.

At a meeting in Hawaii on Thursday, the UWB Forum and the WiMedia
Alliance voted to shut down a working group that sought to create a
common standard for a radio technology known as ultra-wideband, or

Utilizing UWB allows data transmission at extremely high rates, more
than enough for high-definition TV signals, at ranges up to 30 feet.

The UWB Forum -- led by Motorola Corp. spinoff Freescale Semiconductor
Inc. -- and the WiMedia Alliance -- supported by Samsung Electronics
Co. and chip-makers Intel Corp. and Texas Instruments Inc. -- had been
trying to unite on a single standard since forming a task group with
the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in 2003. The
IEEE has been the umbrella group for a number of successful standards,
including Wi-Fi.

Freescale got a head start on UWB in 2003 by buying Xtreme Spectrum, a
company that already had a working prototype chip, and wanted that
chip to be the basis of the standard.

At the same time, the WiMedia Alliance wanted to go in an entirely
different direction. While Freescale's chip sent out extremely rapid
"clicks" of radio signals over a wide range of frequencies, the
WiMedia Alliance wanted to use a method of dividing the spectrum into
a large number of channels and transmitting over them simultaneously,
almost like playing the piano with a finger on every key.

Post Followup Article Use your browser's quoting feature to quote article into reply
Go to Next message: Monty Solomon: "Google Subpoena Roils the Web / US Effort Raises Privacy Issues"
Go to Previous message: Marcus Didius Falco: "The Coming Tug of War Over the Internet -- Wash Post"
TELECOM Digest: Home Page