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The UWB Forum announced that following a successful launch in late February 2004, it has signed up 30 members and is in talks with several major corporate supporters to join the growing coalition. The group’s rapid growth has been fueled by interest in an ultra-wideband (UWB) solution that is available now and supports the Common Signaling Mode (CSM) initiative, an essential enabler for the coexistence of multiple ultra-wideband solutions entering the market over the next several years. In anticipation of the extension of the IEEE Std 802.15.3™ standard into a UWB physical layer, the CSM technique has been designed to provide an etiquette for different classes of devices (Multi-band-OFDM, Direct Sequence-UWB and others) to communicate with each other in order to coordinate their actions and interoperate within the same wireless network. “The response to the UWB Forum and to the CSM proposal has been overwhelming,” said John Santhoff, CTO and founder of Pulse~LINK Inc., a member of the Forum. “There is widespread interest from the UWB community in finding an approach that not only allows for multiple solutions, but does so for a truly IP-based environment.” In addition, Forum members are fully supportive of the IEEE 802.15.3 Medium Access Control (MAC) sub layer, and several members have working 802.15.3 MAC implementations demonstrating wireless 1394, video streaming and IP-based applications. The Forum expected to release a UWB specification compatible with the IEEE 802.15.3.MAC in June 2004, and several silicon providers are preparing to release additional application specific implementations of this specification later in 2004 and in 2005. A number of consumer-electronics companies are also expected to release products based on DS-UWB in the second half of 2004. The DS-UWB technology with the CSM has the best chance of satisfying worldwide regulatory concerns. Members of the UWB Forum are working closely with regional and national regulatory bodies to ensure that UWB solutions satisfy requirements designed to prevent unnecessary interference with existing spectrum users. DS-UWB technology has a signal similar to a Gaussian noise source. When coupled with the CSM, it provides regulators with a clear choice on how to protect existing licensed and unlicensed (license exempt) spectrum users. DS-UWB is a proven technology as a highly scalable, cost effective, low power solution to the variety of handheld and AC powered applications. The Forum supports this scalable technology because it provides the required quality of service and flexible data rates for emerging consumer electronic applications, including in-room video (110 Mbps at 10 meters) and handheld mobile devices (1000+ Mbps at 2 meters), at the critical cost and power points required by these applications. DS-UWB silicon has been demonstrated around the globe, including Europe, China, the US and Japan, underscoring the international interest in this robust, wireless technology. It is fully compliant with US regulations and protects all existing spectrum users. For more information on the UWB Forum, please visit www.uwbforum.org.
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