Wireless USB 1.1 to support 6+ GHz frequencies

Posted by Rick C. Hodgin

Amsterdam (Netherlands) - It was announced today at the Certified Wireless USB Developers Conference that Wireless USB 1.1 specs will be completed in the first half of 2008.  The new spec builds upon the existing 1.0 which adopted in 2005, extending to ultra-wideband frequencies at 6 GHz and above.

Wireless USB is a fully compatible extension to wired USB technology.  The consortium hopes to leverage the success of the existing USB infrastructure into a wide adopted wireless standard.  From a developer's point of view, nothing changes to use Wireless USB.  Everything is still programmed the same way.  It's only the physical implementation of how signal gets from point A to point B which are different, and these outside the concerns of the USB developer.

There are currently more than 2 billion wired USB devices.  The Wireless USB 1.0 specification allows for up to 127 simultaneous devices communicating at speeds of 480 Mbps at 3 meters falling off to 110 Mbps at 10 meters.  It is the group's hope that Wireless USB devices can be installed and used by a particular PC or notebook using a "touch-and-go" technique.  This will allow multiple wireless USB devices to exist at nearby computers without overlap or interference by registering with the PC they're communicating with.

Wireless USB 1.1 will introduce better "first-time" device negotiation algorithms, reduced overall power consumption and new bandwidth opportunities for 6.0 GHz and higher frequencies.  No data has yet been revealed about possible speed or distance improvements in implementing the technology.

Such wireless devices could include audio speakers, keyboards, mice, cameras, cell phones, iPods, even some more bandwidth intensive applications like display devices.  Really any device needing to transmit data within the 480 Mbps bandwidth limit at close proximity could be outfitted with Wireless USB 1.0 or 1.1 when it's avaialble.

Currently there are over 100 members involved in the USB-IF (Implementers Forum).  These include a core base of seven which essentially lead and direct the group:  HP, Intel Corporation, LSI Logic, Microsoft Corporation, NEC Corporation, NXP Semiconductors, and Samsung Electronics.  The conference will wrap up tomorrow with a host of technical sessions for hardware and software developers.