SAN JOSE, Calif. Another ultrawideband startup bites the dust today as Radiospire Networks Inc. confirms it is closing its doors. Three remaining UWB startups remain committed to the technology despite a string of bad news over the last nine months.
Radiospire managed to produce a first generation chip, AirHook. It demonstrated Gbit/s performance, aimed at replacing HDMI cables for digital TVs before investors pulled the plug.
"Our investors decided late last summer to pursue a merger and acquisition exit, and the timing couldn't have been worse for us--no one was buying anything in the fall," said Tan Rao, co-founder and the first chief executive of the company. "We are winding the company down and selling the assets now," he said.
Radiospire filed about 40 patents one of which has issued, a broad patent on HDMI cable replacement. The company had planned a device using 60 GHz networking.
The startup was launched in 2005, after most of the companies focused on wireless USB had been funded. So Radiospire made its focus HDMI cable replacements for digital TVs, facing competitors such as Amimon using a variant of Wi-Fi and SiBeam using 60 GHz technology.
No one has yet delivered good performance at a reasonable price for that application, Rao claimed. "Moving from the orchestrated demo at CES to the consumer's home with real products has been difficult for everyone," he said.
Rao said he purchased a Sharp wireless TV converter in Japan that used Amimon chips and cost $1,000. "We were looking at $299 to $399 for an aftermarket retail system which is still too high," he added.
"Having both price and quality is very difficult to do, but someone will get there eventually," he said.