Wireless USB creeps nearer

The wireless replacement for USB has come a step closer to reality – and some questions on migration have been answered – with the release of a reference design from Wisair.

Wireless USB, which will work at 480Mbps using short-range ultra-wide band (UWB) radio has been specified by a group led by Intel, and has its standards published online.

Wisair has produced working Wireless USB devices that connecting wireless and existing wired devices. A USB dongle plugs into the PC and gives it Wireless USB powers, while a wireless USB "hub" has sockets for existing USB devices and a wireless USB link back to the PC.

"Wireless USB, naturally, will be native in the PC and in devices eventually, but to support your existing PCs and laptops and all the millions of USB devices out there – the cameras and hard disks and printers – you have to start with a wired adapter concept," said Serdar Yurdakul, Wisair’s director of marketing.

Wireless USB puts the USB protocols on top of an underlying ultra-wide band pipe, and the USB standards makers have chosen the WiMedia flavor of UWB which is backed by Intel. Earlier this month, the WiMedia succeeded in getting its specification published as a formal standard by the ECMA group – despite its being deadlocked in the IEEE by a rival proposal from Freescale.

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