Monday, March 27, 2006

Next Gen Bluetooth to be Based on WiMedia UWB

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has selected the WiMedia Alliance multiband orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (MB-OFDM) version of ultra-wideband (UWB) as its future radio platform.

The new version of Bluetooth is expected to meet the high-speed demands of synchronizing and transferring large amounts of data as well as enabling high quality video and audio applications for portable devices, multi-media projectors and television sets.

At the same time, Bluetooth technology will continue catering to the needs of very low power applications such as mice, keyboards and mono headsets, enabling devices to select the most appropriate physical radio for the application requirements.

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.

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.

In a statement, Michael Foley, Ph.D., executive director, Bluetooth SIG said "As a member-driven organization, it is the Bluetooth SIG's responsibility to ensure it's attentive to its members' needs. Having considered the UWB technology options, the decision ultimately came down to what our members want, which is to leverage their current investments in both UWB and Bluetooth technologies and meet the high-speed demands of their customers. By working closely with the WiMedia Alliance to create the next version of Bluetooth technology, we will enable our members to do just that."

The WiMedia Alliance noted that its radio specifications can support a variety of applications using different wireless protocols, including Certified Wireless USB, Bluetooth technology, the 1394 Trade Group's "Wireless FireWire" Protocol Adaptation Layer (PAL), and Wireless IP. Different wireless protocols can operate within the same wireless personal area network without interference.

WiMedia UWB also features the ability to control frequency band usage without requiring additional, costly software implementations.

The WiMedia UWB Common Radio Platform is moving toward International Organization for Standardization (ISO) acceptance through Ecma International's ECMA-368 and ECMA-369 standards.


  • WiMedia UWB is optimized for wireless personal-area networks delivering 480 Mbps and up.


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