Wi-Fi PAN Technology Takes a Step Forward

Ozmo Devices, a Palo Alto, CA-based developer of low-power wireless solutions (formerly H-Stream Wireless), announced Monday it will be teaming up with Intel to enable low-power devices to operate with Intel’s Wi-Fi Personal Area Network (Wi-Fi PAN) technology, aka “Cliffside,” part of Intel’s “Carry Small, Live Large” initiative.

Ozmo Devices’ technology was publicly demonstrated for the first time Tuesday at the Computex trade show held at the Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition Hall in Taiwan.

Ozmo Devices’ low-power technology includes an advanced protocol driver that leverages the Wi-Fi chip on the host side and a highly integrated, ultra-low power IC, for use in wireless peripherals. This allows for high performance coupled with cost savings for system developers, while also addressing some interoperability problems associated with other approaches.

In a press release issued Monday, the company called its solution “the first low-power Wi-Fi Personal Area Network (Wi-Fi PAN) technology to bring native low-power peripheral connectivity to Wi-Fi platforms.”

Unlike legacy WPAN technologies, the Ozmo solution does not require an additional radio inside the platform or a dongle to communicate with the peripheral; it extends the Wi-Fi functionality already existing on many platforms to include connectivity with low-power wireless peripherals, such as mice and headsets.

Dave Timm, Ozmo Devices’ CEO, said in Monday’s press release, “With the rapid proliferation of Wi-Fi enabled platforms, from PCs and game consoles to smart phones, there’s a tremendous benefit to enabling wireless peripheral connectivity over Wi-Fi without adding complexity and cost to the platform. Legacy technologies, such as Bluetooth require that another, dedicated radio be added to the platform and compromise on the performance, battery life, and scalability demanded by today’s wireless connectivity applications.”

According to Timm, Ozmo’s WPAN connectivity solution benefits platform developers, peripheral manufacturers, and users alike.

“Wi-Fi has emerged as the wireless technology of choice, both at home and in the office. By leveraging the Wi-Fi chip that’s already in so many mobile platforms, we’re able to natively deliver wireless peripheral connectivity. Our unique low-power Wi-Fi PAN technology eliminates the interoperability and performance issues that have hindered broad adoption of traditional WPAN approaches. With Ozmo’s low-power Wi-Fi PAN solution, users will enjoy the convenience of wireless operation without constantly worrying about performance, security, and battery life,” he said.

For more on Wi-Fi PANs, read “IBM, Symbol Tech Alliance for W-LAN, -PAN, -WAN,” “WiMAX: Broadband Wireless Access,” and “PANs + WLANs = Dual Mode Blue802.”

For more on Intel, read “Intel Puts Developer Focus on Mobility,” “Tech Trends and Products to Watch in 2008,” and “Intel Purchases Bluetooth, Wi-Fi Developer.”

Naomi Graychase is Managing Editor at Wi-FiPlanet.

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