There's been a miracle at Computex: It seems there have been enough prayers to breath life back into UWB, at least according to second-hand accounts by a remote witness of the show.
Put the funeral attire back in the closet. After scanning the lineup at this year's Computex conference in Taiwan, Lisa Arrowsmith, market analyst for IMS Research concluded in a missive to the media that the UWBspecifically the W-USB variantecosystem is "slowly starting to ramp up."
The evidence from Computex includes Alereon's demonstration of a W-USB Apple iphone/ipod peripheral reference design, enabling wireless synchronization to iTunes on a Windows or MAC operating system, with future enhancements offering connectivity to HDTVs. "Also gaining press at Computex is Leyio's W-USB hard drive, which is said to enable data-transfer at 10Mbpsfour times faster than WiFi and 100 times faster than classic Bluetooth."
Still, Arrowsmith acknowledges that pickup has been slow, but she puts it down to a 'chicken-and-egg' dilemma, referring to the, "reluctance of PC manufacturers to include UWB radios as standard in their products while the supporting peripheral device ecosystem is still limited; and the reluctance of peripheral device manufacturers to include UWB connectivity in their products while the attach rate to PCs is remains low."
She believes press accounts of UWB's demise have been premature. "One only needs to look at the current state of technologies such as Bluetooth, which everybody seems to forget was also at one point declared dead and buried, to see that it is possible to recover and introduce a successful technology despite the press's death knell."
Who knows, she may be right, but I doubt it. There are reasons PC peripheral manufacturers are reluctant to include it. Try cost, performance, global acceptance and now uncertainty over who's actually advocating for it now that WiMedia has handed the spec' over to both the Bluetooth SIG and USB.
On a side note, I wouldn't make Bluetooth a blueprint for success: it was pushed as a ubiquitous wireless connectivity scheme, but in reality it's hard to find anywhere outside of headsets.
I'd be more inclined to agree with a second IMS Research report that the window of opportunity for W-USB is now. Extrapolating upon this, I'd say the activity at Computex is a reflection of the 'now or never' situation. It's a computer show, W-USB is for computers and peripherals.
The standard's advocates needed a good showing there, 'cause the clock's ticking on this miracle.