Bluetooth technology and UWB solution enables wireless high speed and ad-hoc applications while maintaining low power
Bellevue, WA – March 29, 2006 – The Bluetooth SIG today announced its selection of the WiMedia Alliance multiband orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (MB-OFDM) version of ultra-wideband (UWB) for integration with current Bluetooth wireless technology, thus taking the next step in its plan to create a version of the globally popular Bluetooth wireless technology with a high speed/high data rate option. This new version of Bluetooth technology will 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, thereby offering the best of both worlds.
Stated Michael Foley, Ph. D., executive director, Bluetooth SIG: “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.”
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.
“The Bluetooth community has been extremely successful at generating strong brand recognition among users of high volume, lower data rate computer, telecommunications and consumer products,” said Stephen R. Wood, president, WiMedia Alliance and UWB technology strategist at Intel. “The WiMedia Alliance looks forward to providing suppliers of Bluetooth products with a higher speed technology path that will enable the next generation of exciting new portable data applications.”
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.
About The WiMedia Alliance
The WiMedia Alliance is a not-for-profit open industry association that promotes and enables the rapid adoption, regulation, standardization and multi-vendor interoperability of ultra-wideband (UWB) worldwide. The basis for the industry’s first UWB standards (published by Ecma International), WiMedia UWB is optimized for wireless personal-area networks delivering high-speed (480Mbps and beyond),low-power multimedia capabilities for the PC, CE, mobile and automotive market segments. Emphasizing peaceful coexistence with other wireless services, the WiMedia UWB common radio platform is designed to operate with application stacks developed by the 1394 Trade Association Wireless Working Group, the Certified Wireless USB Promoter Group and the Bluetooth SIG. WiMedia’s board members include Alereon, HP, Intel, Kodak, Microsoft, Nokia, Philips, Samsung Electronics, Sony, STMicroelectronics, Staccato Communications, Texas Instruments and Wisair. For more information, please visit www.wimedia.org.
About Bluetooth Wireless Technology
Bluetooth wireless technology is the global short-range wireless standard for personal connectivity of a broad range of electronic devices. The technology is now available in its fourth version of the core specification and continues to develop, building on its inherent strengths – small-form factor radio, low power, low cost, built-in security, robustness, ease-of-use, and ad hoc networking abilities. Three new Bluetooth enabled products are qualified every day and 10 million Bluetooth units are shipping per week. The installed base of Bluetooth devices was over 500 million products at the end of 2005 and is projected to surpass one billion by the end of 2006, making it the only proven choice for developers, product manufacturers, and consumers worldwide.
About the Bluetooth SIG
The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), comprised of leaders in the telecommunications, computing, consumer electronics, automotive and network industries, is driving development of Bluetooth wireless technology and bringing it to market. The Bluetooth SIG includes promoter group companies Agere, Ericsson, Intel, IBM, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia and Toshiba, along with over 4500 Associate and Adopter member companies. The Bluetooth SIG, Inc. headquarters are located in Bellevue, Washington, U.S.A. For more information please visit www.Bluetooth.com.