AUSTIN, Texas Freescale Semiconductor Inc. is withdrawing its proposed 1394-over-coax solution to the 1394 Trade Association, leaving the field to a competing technology being developed by Pulse-Link Inc., a spokesman for the association said.
Freescale, based here, proposed a physical (PHY) layer approach to 1394-over-coax, but then decided that it would not expend the engineering resources needed to fully develop the technology, the spokesman said. The 1394 trade association, with about 170 members, "expects the standard to coalesce around the Pulse-link solution," which includes a chipset and supporting software, he said.
Freescale demonstrated high-definition video over 1394-over-coax at the CableLabs Summer Conference 2006, and at a 1394 trade association quarterly meeting this year, but ultimately decided not to go forward with the work due to limited engineering resources.
With Freescale opting not to pursue the 1394-over-coax solution, "that clears the way for the Pulse-Link solution to enter the market next year," the association spokesman said. Other silicon vendors may then choose to develop 1394-over-coax silicon and software, based on the standard, he added.
A Freescale spokesman said the company would not comment. "Freescale continues to believe that UWB will be an important wireless technology and can bring tremendous value to mobile and consumer devices; however, we don't have any announcements related to UWB or 1394," the spokesman said.
Pulse-Link chief technology officer John Santhoff said Pulse-Link (San Diego, Calif.) will demonstrate its solution with one or more customers at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show in January 2007. Those Gbit-per-second links will support both 1394 and Ethernet transmission, using the type of coaxial cable widely used in households. Cable providers favor the approach because it leverages their installed base of coax in customer's homes.
The technology promises to feed into a large market, due to a mandate by the Federal Communications Commission requiring 1394 links in future high-definition digital televisions.
The Freescale decision on 1394-over-coax comes as the company mulls its options in the ultrawideband (UWB) arena.
At the recent Freescale Technology Forum in Orlando, Fla., Sandeep Chennakeshu, the recently hired Freescale executive who heads up the company's wireless group, said the company is considering what to do with its direct-sequence UWB technology, given the tough price targets needed to penetrate the wireless USB opportunity.