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UltraWideBand

September 16th, 2004 · No Comments

The New York Times writes:

Most of the cables snaking through home computers and entertainment centers are not so easily severed – they are essential for high-speed transfers of data from devices like camcorders, cameras, and MP3 players.

That is going to change, though, as electronic devices start to come equipped with a short-range, high-speed wireless radio technology known as ultrawideband. Long in use in military, security and radar applications, the technology is being adapted for consumer electronics because it offers rapid, cable-free transfer of large digital files.

Freescale Semiconductor is one of the companies that have developed semiconductor-based ultrawideband technology. A former subsidiary of Motorola, the company recently demonstrated its chips in a device that transmitted data wirelessly at 110 megabits per second at a range of 30 feet while using little power.

Martin Rofheart, director of ultrawideband operations for the company, said 110 megabits per second is about 100 times the speed of Bluetooth, and at least double the typical rate using the wireless networking standard known as Wi-Fi.

The marked increase in speed of ultrawideband opens the way to many cable-free applications, he said. In the future, for instance, people may stop at a convenience store kiosk and download a DVD onto their keychain computer storage device in only a few minutes.

“You will start seeing applications for living rooms and entertainment centers with our chips late this year and at the beginning of next year,” Dr. Rofheart said. Semiconductor-based ultrawideband transceivers from Freescale will provide 220 megabits per second by the end of the year, he said.

Tags: Emerging Technologies

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