Wireless USB Ready for Testing

Ultrawideband’s push into wireless universal serial bus (USB) took another step this week with the announcement from the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) — the non-profit organization behind the USB specifications — of the launch of the Certified Wireless USB Compliance and Certification Program. This gives vendors who make UWB-based Wireless USB products a place to go that will provide a stamp of approval for product interoperability.

Compliance with Certified Wireless USB, which uses UWB technology from the WiMedia Alliance, is based on the USB 2.0 Compliance Program the USB-IF has had in place for six years. The wireless USB hardware has to plug into the existing USB 2.0 ports of computers and peripherals to provide a cord-free connection. The target speed for Certified Wireless USB is 480 Megabits per second (Mbps) at a distance of 3 meters (9.8 feet) and 110 Mbps at 10 meters (32.8 feet).

Vendors can review test specifications and download self-tests online, but to get the certification, products must be submitted to a Certified Wireless USB test lab. The first test center signed on is Intel’s Wireless USB Platform Integration Lab. Any product that passes the test is added to the online Integrators List of certified products.

The announcement took place today at the Intel Developer Forum Fall 2006 in San Francisco, and was accompanied by a slew of other UWB/Wireless USB announcements, including new Certified Wireless USB reference designs from NEC Electronics, WiQuest Communications, Alereon and Staccato Communications. Staccato, in fact, has six Certified Wireless USB reference designs to submit, including external dongles and internal cards (one with integrated Bluetooth) of various sizes, such as PCI Express and SDIO.

A USB-IF Compliance Workshop, where pre-registered members can do interoperability tests with their fellow vendors, is coming up October 23-27 in Taipei, Taiwan.

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