Bluetooth Adopts Ultra-Wideband Technology
The Bluetooth SIG today announced its selection of the WiMedia Alliance ultra-wideband (UWB) spec for integration with current Bluetooth wireless technology. This move will give Bluetooth data transfer rates a much needed boost to enable high quality video and audio applications for portable devices, multi-media projectors and television sets.
This new version of Bluetooth technology will use orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (MB-OFDM) version of ultra-wideband (UWB) for integration with current Bluetooth wireless technology. At the same time, Bluetooth technology will continue catering to the needs of very low power applications such as mice, GPS kits, keyboards and wireless headsets, enabling devices to select the most appropriate physical radio for the application requirements, thereby offering the best of both worlds.
It is critical that the UWB technology be compatible with Bluetooth radios and maintain the core attributes of Bluetooth wireless technology – low power, low cost, ad-hoc networking, built-in security features, and ability to integrate into mobile devices. Backwards compatibility with the over 500 million Bluetooth devices currently on the market is also an important consideration. The Bluetooth SIG is satisfied that MB-OFDM UWB technology, offered by the WiMedia Alliance, is capable of meeting all of these requirements. The two organizations are dedicated to working together to ensure that the combined high-speed solution is optimized for mobile devices with very low power consumption.
One of the key components to the agreement between the Bluetooth SIG and the WiMedia Alliance will help UWB achieve global regulatory acceptance. Both parties have agreed to develop a high speed, high data rate Bluetooth solution that utilizes the unlicensed radio spectrum above 6 GHz. This move answers concerns voiced by regulatory bodies in both Europe and Asia.
“Companies working with Bluetooth technology want to stay one step ahead of consumer demand and deliver a wireless technology that meets the global market needs for the personal area network – today and in the future,” said John Barr, Ph. D., chairman of the board of directors, Bluetooth SIG, and director, standards realization, Motorola. “There is now an opportunity for the WiMedia Alliance to work with the Bluetooth SIG to define the Bluetooth technology/UWB implementation that will work for the Bluetooth SIG, our members and end users.”
The Bluetooth SIG Core Specification Working Group Charter and UWB Feature Requirements Document (FRD) have been approved by the Bluetooth SIG Board of Directors, signaling that work may commence. The requirements set by the UWB study group in the UWB FRD define what has to be done to create a solution appropriate for adoption by the Bluetooth SIG. Both groups will immediately begin work together on the specification draft within the Bluetooth SIG Core Specification Working Group. The Bluetooth SIG estimates this process to last approximately one year, with the first Bluetooth technology/UWB solution chip sets available for prototyping in Q2 2007.
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