Electronic Design

First "Legal" Wireless-Use UWB Radios Get Ready For Business

The Federal Communications Commission first approved Ultra-Wideband (UWB) operation in 2002. Lots of products have been announced in the hottest segment of the UWB market, wireless USB. But so far, none have passed the required FCC tests. WiQuest's Wireless USB dongle and hub are the first fully certified products.

WiQuest Communications UWB chip set complies with the WiMedia Alliance OFDM (orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing) standard. One of the chips includes the USB ports, and its operation complies with the Certified Wireless USB specification of the USB Implementers Forum.

The WQST101 is the RF chip, while the WQST110 chip includes the WiMedia Media access controller (MAC), the physical-layer (PHY) baseband processor, and an integrated USB 2.0 transceiver. The wireless USB adapter conforms to FCC Part 15 section 15.519 for handheld UWB systems for both indoor and outdoor applications.

The WiQuest dongle is a point-to-point USB connection for PC peripheral connectivity. It s about the simplest way to hook up a printer or external hard drive to a PC or laptop. Future uses will include digital camera and cell-phone connections. UWB wireless devices also will serve to minimize wired connections in future high-definition TV and other video applications.

The FCC also approved WiQuest's four-port USB hub. Like the dongle, it has a maximum speed of 480 Mbits/s. Both the hub and the dongle represent the first FCC-certified Host Wire Adapter (HWA) and Device Wire Adapter (DWA) wireless USB solution based on the Certified Wireless USB standard.

We all have been waiting for UWB, and now it s here. It appears to succeed well in PC peripheral connections, but time will tell how it will fare in the wireless video wars to come. All of the WiQuest Communications products are available now.

WiQuest Communications

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