MANHASSET, N.Y. Wisair has announced a wireless USB dongle and hub reference design that will allow consumer devices such as printers, scanners and cellular devices to connect to a USB-enabled PC at rates of up to 480 Mbits/s.
Based on WiMedia's multiband-OFDM specification, the reference design uses Wisair's fully WiMedia-compliant SiGe physical-layer chip and the company's proprietary media access control (MAC).
"It's not fully compliant with WiMedia [at the MAC level]," said Amir Freund, vice president of marketing at Wisair (Campbell, Calif.). However, Freund expects a fully compliant MAC to debut in the first quarter of 2006.
Plans call for a fully integrated single all-CMOS chip by mid 2006, at which time the price point will fall from the current cost under $10 for the two-chip design to under $5 for the single chip. The MAC specification itself is finished and is currently undergoing peer review.
In the meantime, the current design has a device-side focus, he added, with a strong emphasis on multiple interfaces, including SDIO, compact flash and MPEG. "For the PC host, we're collaborating with Intel, with Intel providing the host chip," he said.
One of the chips' key features is the integration of detect and avoid (DAA) capability, a feature that Freund said is critical in countries like Japan and Europe where ultrawideband's coexistence with other radios is being examined closely as those regions look to define rules for UWB operation. To date, a format for DAA has not been standardized by WiMedia, so Wisair's DAA design is proprietary, though it is synchronizing its parameters with those of Alereon, another WiMedia-based chip provider.
The reference design includes a small-form-factor integrated antenna and Wisair plans to release a second generation, certified Wireless USB version of the reference design in the first quarter of next year.
Wisair demonstrate its Wireless USB reference design at CES in booth #7923.