Second, the advantages of Transferjet over other proximity wireless technologies include: higher file transfers data rates with an effective throughput of up to 375 Mbps with no degradation or interference from other wireless technologies); extremely lower transmit power (less than -70 dBm/MHz); error detection and correction, packet acknowledgement and packet resend; and operation at a frequency band centered at 4.48 GHz and occupying 560 MHz of bandwidth. These bands are unlicensed in Japan, Europe, the U.S.
According to Andrew Burt, vice president of Toshiba's analog and imaging business unit system LSI group, “The key is TransferJet’s ability to transfer large files very quickly.” As more users transfer HD video content from one device to another, they will find TransferJet very attractive, he claimed.
Alan Li, Toshiba’s senior business development manager, added that the wireless data transfer demo seen in Samsung’s Galaxy S3 TV ads is enabled by a combination of NFC and Wi-Fi Direct technologies. NFC triggers a "pairing" between the two devices and Wi-Fi Direct transfers the file. Initial handshaking and file transfer between the two devices is likely to take much longer, Li cautioned.
The issue for Toshiba is who will adopt TransferJet? Aside from Sony (laptops), Epson (printers), Toshiba (laptops) and Pioneer (smart tables), TransferJet lacks the first big mover pushing the technology. The fact that those pushing Transferjet are Japanese vendors is not helping since these companies have lost their swagger.
The smartphone is therefore the key to consumers acceptance, yet there are currently no TransferJet-enabled smartphones on the market.
Toshiba's strategy focuses on either a USB dongle integrated with TransferJet or a TransferJet-enabled microSD card. By inserting the dongle or microSD card, a notebook, camera or a TV can use TransferJet. The OEM price for such a TransferJet USB dongle could be as high as $25. The retail price could start around $50. Pretty steep.
TransferJet needs a strong value proposition, said Semico’s Downey. "Why do we need to transfer/stream large data files between devices? Maybe the answer lies in apps that could make novel use of this technology." Downey suggested that if it enabled sharing of games in HD that it might take off, especially if it can support multiple, paired devices without affecting transfer rates.
Burt said Toshiba also is considering combo chips such as Bluetooth/TransferJet, NFC/TransferJet and wireless charging/Transferjet.
"Combo chips are definitely an advantage," said Downey of Semico. "Once people get used to using NFC for sharing files, and realize how slow it is, then TransferJet will seem more attractive.”
“The downside for [embedding TransferJet into] the wireless charging side is that standards are still being finalized, so combo chips including wireless charging won't be seen for awhile yet," Downey added.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.