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WiMedia unveils strategic directions

12/7/2007 05:00 PM EST
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re: WiMedia unveils strategic directions
grasor   12/9/2007 12:08:21 AM
Quoting Jeff Ravencraft and Stephen Wood in an article that appeared in the November 2006 issue of RF Design: "Built from the ground up and optimized for a wireless medium, Certified Wireless USB supports high data-rate wireless connectivity and delivers the same speed (480 Mbps at three meters and 110 Mbps at 10 meters) and ease-of-use experienced with wired USB today. It is powered by the WiMedia UWB Common Radio Platform as developed by the WiMedia Alliance." So... over the course of another year, the marketing hype and vapor-ware associated with WiMedia has once again proven to be mere PowerPoint presentations. In the January 2006 review of Belkin's wireless USB hub, the excuses were that the hardware implementing the device was pre-release, not fully WiMedia compliant. It measured less than 20 Mbps application layer throughput. Now, the latest and greatest stuff, after another year of work, comes in at a blazing 30-40 Mbps. I guess that will work for USB 1.1 at 12 Mbps, but will never get close to the 160 Mbps average real-world application throughput realized by wired USB 2.0 high speed. Just wait until someone tests the WiMedia solution with 4 simultaneously operating piconets, one of the IEEE 802.15.3a requirements that will never be met by the current solution. The result will be MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction)! WiMedia needs a working DAA function to protect it's own devices from each other. I don't want to rub it in too much, but what happened to the design wins that a Wi--- something company announced with Dell and Lenovo? I still haven't seen any manufacturer, sans one (Toshiba), with such a blind product staff that they would increase the BOM on their highly cost sensitive products by including another radio sub-system that performs worse than proprietary aftermarket 2.4 and 5.8 GHz solutions. How long will the Venture Capitalists backing the WiMedia start-ups hold their breath? Even the Bluetooth SIG has given up on WiMedia's MB-OFDM solution. In conclusion, it is highly unlikely that the WiMedia platform, in its current architectural state, will achieve its data throughput, range or power consumption goals. The current radio is too complex, and requires too many band-aids to merely operate in its sub 200 Mbps modes (that?s raw PHY data rates, that you need to reduce by 20-30% for real world application data rates). Don?t take my word for it, just hold off buying any WiMedia based products until one receives a Editor?s Choice award, or at least a review that show a reasonably operative communication system.

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