SAN FRANCISCO -- During the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) here this week, Intel Corp. claimed it has developed the world's fastest chips and systems, based on a new, short-range wireless technology, called "ultrawideband" (UWB).
Using discrete radio-frequency (RF) components, Intel demonstrated a UWB-enabled system that supported data rates at speeds of 100 megabits per second, said Ben Manny, director of wireless technology development at Intel Architecture Labs. The company aims to push this wireless technology to 500 Mbits per second, Manny said in an interview at IDF.
At present, there are a few chip startups developing products for this kind of high-speed wireless technology. But some analysts believe startups have only been able to demonstrate 50-Mbit/sec. data rates using the technology.
Intel itself has not yet decided to enter the market for UWB chips or systems, according to Manny. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company is still in the R&D phase with the technology, he added.
The wireless technology could be ideal for next-generation, short- to medium-range wireless home networking, according to analysts. Operating from 3-to-6-GHz frequencies, the technology could also potentially replace Universal Serial Bus (USB) technology, say some analysts.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved limited deployment of UWB technology. The agency said it will consider wider deployment over the next year if the current concerns about interference prove unwarranted.
Opponents of the technology warn that UWB emissions could interfere with existing services, such as Global Positioning System (GPS) and PCS wireless phones (see Feb. 14 story). UWB is designed to spread across a range of frequencies already assigned to other applications by the FCC in the United States.