New Wireless Protocol Offers Greater Speeds

The industry group called the Multiband OFDM Alliance, which is led by Texas Instruments Inc (TI), said Monday that it would publish final standards for the technology in May.

Products using the new technology should be available in 2005 the group said.

According to the MB OFDM Alliance, ultra wideband or IEEE 802.15.3a operates with less power than today’s wireless protocols but is capable of much higher speeds, upwards of 200Mbps, and of streaming TV-quality video.

The group announced on Monday that there are now over 50 member companies in the alliance. Over 15 new member corporations have joined in the last two months.

“The market for UWB technology is quickly developing. In order to ensure rapid adoption and interoperability, it is crucial to have support for the technology throughout the value chain,” said Yoram Solomon, general manager of TI’s consumer networking business unit. “With more than 50 leading companies supporting the MBOA approach, it is clear that the OFDM-based approach to UWB is positioned to become the standard for UWB worldwide.”

The group stated that the MBOA draft specification rev.9 will be available to member companies in February 2004 with the final version expected in May 2004. Silicon samples based on this specification are expected from multiple vendors by the end of 2004 enabling end-user products in 2005.

From the press release:

The MBOA membership includes some of the most influential players in the Consumer Electronics, Personal Computing, Home Entertainment, Mobile Phone, Semiconductor and Digital Imaging spaces. Collectively, these companies retain much of the world’s expertise and experience in designing and building systems and silicon based upon UWB techniques. Many of these companies have designed and built UWB systems of various types over the past 10 years, including a variety of single-band and multi-band approaches. The companies in MBOA are united in their desire to arrive at the best overall solution for UWB with maximum emphasis on peaceful coexistence with other wireless services. These companies have created the MBOA with a consensus that the best technique to achieve these objectives is Multiband OFDM.