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Alereon Inc.'s Ultra Wideband Technology

David H. Deans
06:19 AM ET (US)
Ultra Wideband May Get Wider

Ultra wideband, a would-be competitor to Bluetooth, Zigbee, infra-red and other short-range wireless technologies, is stuck in a standards stalemate that may not end anytime soon.

Rival proposals from an Intel-led group and Freescale Semiconductor, a subsidiary of Motorola, are expected to once again battle to a draw next week at a meeting of Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers
(IEEE) members in Berlin, according to a recent poll showing 60 percent favor Freescale's proposal, short of the necessary 75 percent.

The schism threatens to create an initial wave of UWB products that don't interoperate. This could give consumers the sort of bad first impression the
standards process was created to avoid.

Source: CNET http://snipurl.com/8y9s
David H. Deans
12:38 PM ET (US)
Ultrawideband groups band together

The WiMedia Alliance last week recognized the MultiBand OFDM Alliance's (MBOA) version of Ultrawideband. The WiMedia endorsement is another victory for the MBOA, an industry consortium including Intel (which is also a member of the WiMedia Alliance) and Nokia, which is pushing its version of Ultrawideband against a rival standard backed by Motorola.

Source: http://news.com.com/2100-7351-5193541.html
David H. Deans
07:52 PM ET (US)
Alereon closes $31.5M first round

Ultrawideband (UWB) chip start-up Alereon this week announced $31.5 million in first round financing. The round was led by Austin Ventures with participation by Pharos Capital, Centennial Ventures, Kinetic Ventures, eCentury Capital, Duchossois Technology Partners, PTV Sciences, and other investors. The company says the new funding will allow it to operate through to the end of 2005 and bring its first chips to market. This is an impressive first round, especially given the fact that the IEEE has been unable to develop a standard for UWB. Alereon is a member of the MultiBand OFDM Alliance (MBOA), an organization led by Intel and Texas Instruments that is pushing one of two leading standards for UWB. The company's chips will compete with products using a rival standard advanced by Motorola.

Source: CNET, Alereon Press Release
David H. Deans
07:26 PM ET (US)
TI to offer royalty-free Ultrawideband

Texas Instruments (TI) today fired the latest salvo in the growing war to determine the standard for the emerging Wireless Personal Area Network (WPAN) technology, Ultrawideband (UWB). The company said it will wave royalties for key patents used in its proposed version of UWB. The move is designed to make this version of UWB more attractive to consumer electronics makers and other potential partners. TI is part of a larger industry consortium called the MultiBand OFDM Alliance (MBOA), which includes other heavyweights such as Intel and Nokia. The MBOA is fighting within the IEEE to establish its UWB standard as the default for the wireless industry. The group faces a rival standard backed by Motorola and its partner, XtremeSpectrum. The two sides have deadlocked several meetings of the UWB task force in the IEEE, leading to a marketplace with two UWB standards. The ITU last month said it plans to push for Motorola's UWB standard.

Source: http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/031208/dam008a_1.html
David H. Deans
11:19 AM ET (US)
Motorola buys Ultrawideband chip firm

Motorola late yesterday said it acquired Ultrawideband (UWB) chip maker XtremeSpectrum for an undisclosed sum. Motorola is a supporter of XtremeSpectrum's version of UWB technology, which XtremeSpectrum is currently pushing for approval with the IEEE. The company's only competition in terms of a viable UWB standard is the MultiBand OFDM Alliance, a group of 34 technology giants including Nokia and Texas Instruments. The alliance's proposal recently won a majority of the votes cast during an IEEE UWB task group meeting. The vote, however, failed to reach the 75 percent approval needed to win, meaning that XtremeSpectrum's version of UWB is still in the running (though it is something of a long shot at this stage in the process). Motorola said that XtremeSpectrum's chips are the fist UWB silicon products to ship to equipment makers. This will hardly matter, though, if the IEEE ratifies and endorses the company's rival UWB standard. Motorola recently agreed to spin off its chip business, making this acquisition hard to place in terms of Motorola's current market strategy. Researcher ABI predicts that the market for UWB products will be worth $1.7 billion by 2007.

Source: CNET
David H. Deans
05:26 PM ET (US)
Wireless fight growing over open Ultrawideband

Two camps are already fighting to define Ultrawideband (UWB) technology: Motorola and XtremeSpectrum versus Intel and Texas Instruments. Motorola and XtremeSpectrum recently said they are backing one of two proposals for UWB that will offer the technology without any royalties or fees. The two companies face competition from Intel and Texas Instruments (TI), which plan to offer a competing version of UWB, also without fees. Intel and TI are the early favorites in this fight. The two companies are currently waiting for an endorsement of their standard by Microsoft. Traditionally, companies developing new wireless standards charge royalties on the new technologies as a way to compensate for R&D costs. In the case of UWB, competition in the chip market is already so fierce that established heavyweights such as Motorola and Intel are ready to give away these fees just to be able to define the technology. These competing companies hope that by defining the market early, they will be able to capitalize on early demand for wireless chip products, as well as develop potential device and application ecosystems around their technology. Ultrawideband promises personal area networks (PAN) -- and potentially WLANs as well -- with speeds far greater than current PAN technologies like Bluetooth. Researcher ABI predicts that the UWB market could be worth $1.39 billion by 2007.

Full Story: http://news.com.com/2100-7351-5098712.html

David H. Deans
David H. Deans
11:27 AM ET (US)
The September issue of Networking magazine has an excellent article entitled "Wireless Goes Peer-to-Peer" -- here's a shortcut to the text http://snurl.com/2bc6

Also, MIT's Technology Review magazine has an equally interesting article entitled "Networking from The Rooftop" -- read it at http://www.technologyreview.com (requires Free registration for access to some content).

David H. Deans
David H. Deans
10:29 AM ET (US)

The WiMAX Forum, and more specifically its primary founding members like Intel, are working on interconnecting Wi-Fi with WiMAX (as a metro internet backhaul network, and to mesh together Wi-Fi islands across a thirty mile area). In fact, the CTO of Intel announced that they would be conducting a technology trial in Texas (the members and exact location were undisclosed).

David H. Deans
jonlPerson was signed in when posted
06:08 AM ET (US)
David, thanks. I've been thinking we would work with a combination of technologies, as you say, though I don't have a good sense at this point how well they all work together. Do you know anyone (or any group) that is looking at integration?
David H. Deans
08:41 AM ET (US)

As the UWB standard evolves, IMHO the need for device interworking will also evolve as a wireless data hierarchy starts to materialize. UWB interworking with Wi-Fi, and Wi-Fi with WiMAX, etc.

Beyond the hierarchy issue, perhaps we will see more peer-level interworking or primary and fall-back network routing, as we're currently witnessing with planned GSM/GPDS and Wi-Fi multi-band and muli-mode PDA devices.

David H. Deans

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