The WiMedia Alliance on Thursday recognized the MultiBand OFDM Alliance's (MBOA) version of ultrawideband technology and said it will throw its support behind the group and its proposed radio specification, Intel representatives confirmed on Friday. Intel is a member of both the WiMedia Alliance and the MBOA.
Ultrawideband technology allows a slew of PC and consumer electronics devices to communicate wirelessly with one another at transfer rates of up to 480 megabits per second within a 10-meter range.
Craig Mathias, an analyst at research firm Farpoint Group, said the move shows that efforts to create a de facto industry standard are moving ahead, helping ease concerns that ultrawideband could become mired in red tape, while other wireless technologies replace its role in the market.
"This is a boost for the market, because, despite a standards gridlock, trade associations are pushing forward, so devices are likely closer to being released than previously thought," Mathias said. "The question is: How big is that market, and when will devices be out?"
Ultrawideband chips are expected to be released by mid-2005. Devices that use the processors may be available as early as that holiday season, according to Stephen Wood, a spokesman for Intel communications labs.
Ultrawideband is often viewed as a replacement for Bluetooth technology. Ultrawideband allows higher amounts of data to be wirelessly transferred than Bluetooth.
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Motorola representatives said WiMedia Alliance decisions are confidential and have not yet been released. WiMedia Alliance representatives declined to comment.
The WiMedia Alliance endorsed the physical and medium access control layers of the MBOA's proposed radio specification, which are essentially responsible for moving data, and sending and receiving it off the air.