The WiMedia Alliance and the MultiBand OFDM Alliance Special Interest Group, or MBOA-SIG, recently announced the two groups’ merger. Although the entity will often be referred to as WiMedia-MBOA, the entity will operate officially as the WiMedia Alliance Inc. The merged group is designed to take advantage of the strengths of both groups to drive the standardization and adoption of ultrawideband (UWB). The WiMedia-MBOA is conducting an intellectual property review of MBOA-SIG’s physical (PHY) layer specification, which has already been distributed to MBOA-SIG members who are building products. The organization is also financing the MBOA-SIG’s medium access control (MAC) layer specification. Applications such as Wireless USB, Wireless 1394 and Wireless AP will use the WiMedia-MBOA’s common radio platform based on the MBOA-SIG’s PHY and MAC specifications. Development on application profiles for UPnP/IP, the WiMedia convergence architecture

(WiMCA) and the WiMedia network protocol adaptation (WiNet) layer are continuing. Also extremely important is the task of interoperability and certification. The WiMedia-MBOA has begun to define its certification and interoperability program that will address WiMedia-MBOA usage in Wireless USB and Wireless 1394 applications to the total IP UWB technology stack. Promoter companies include: Aleron, HP, Intel, Kodak, Nokia, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Staccato Communications, Texas Instruments and Wisair. In the near term, other companies are expected to be added to this list as well. A waiver ruling is expected soon based on the MBOA request by the Federal Communications Commission. In-Stat believes that UWB presents attractive opportunities, primarily for fast video transfer between peripheral devices, such as digital camcorders, TVs and PCs, and between set top boxes and TV monitors. With the high bandwidth gap left by Wi-Fi in the home networking space, UWB is seen as the wireless technology that can deliver the bandwidth and QoS that many customer electronics companies have been looking for to enable sending multiple video streams throughout a home. UWB supporters have been working toward a standard and commercial solutions since the FCC allowed its use in February 2002. With UWB’s perceived ability to fill the high bandwidth gap left by Wi-Fi in the home networking space, UWB node/chipset shipments will experience an emerging market compound annual growth rate of over 400 percent from 2005 to 2008.