Ultra-wideband (UWB) data products are coming to market at last.  Last month, Alereon (Facebook, Twitter) announced that their UWB “NoWire(TM)” technology will be used in Imation’s Wireless Video/Audio Extender providing an up to 220Mbps link. Here’s a review. Alereon chips will also power Toshiba’s Wireless Dynadock W20. Now, Alereon’s competitors are joining the fray.

EZAir is offering a variety of UWB video/USB extenders powered by Wisair UWB chips. This review reports ranges up to 20 feet with generally good performance, although an intervening wall kills system performance.

Two of the early leaders in UWB wireless data, Staccato Communications and Artimi, joined forces in a 2008 merger to form a company called “VeeBeam” (Twitter). I was unable to find an independent third party review of the newly released product.

I’ll be keeping my eye out for a comprehensive review and comparison of all three offerings.

There are other wireless technologies advancing on this technology space, however. WirelessHD is a 60GHz technology employing 7GHz of bandwidth up at 60GHz. UWB proponents downplay the competition (see, for instance, Alereon CEO Eric Broockman’s blog post: “Where for Art though oh 60 Ghz?“). Perhaps the best and most detailed survey I’ve seen lately comes from Brian Dipert who surveys the contemporary wireless landscape in this EDN article and a companion blog post.

Previously on ÆtherCzar:

The company is a combination of two WiMedia Alliance members, Staccato Communications from the US and Cambridge, England-based Artimi. There is enough enthusiasm for the new products that putting in another $6 million seems to give the VCs behind Veebeam some optimism that the company can give a return no numerous investments, amounting to some $80 million in the two companies’ previous lives and $20 million two years ago.


Hans Schantz is CTO of The Q-Track Corporation, and a co-inventor of NFER® technology. His prior work experience includes stints with IBM, the Lawrence Livermore National Lab, The ElectroScience Lab of the Ohio State University, and Time Domain Corporation. Author of The Art and Science of Ultra-wideband Antennas (Artech House, 2005), his forty U.S. patents include antennas, RF systems, RF-based location systems, and related inventions. He is a Senior Member of the IEEE, a member of the Institute of Navigation, and an amateur radio operator [KC5VLD]. Schantz earned his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Texas at Austin. He also holds degrees in Industrial Engineering and Physics from Purdue University. Dr. Schantz blogs at ÆtherCzar and is @ÆtherCzar on Twitter. His wife, Barbara, invented The Baby Dipper® Bowl. Hans and Barbara have two sets of twins: girls aged ten, and boys six years old. The views expressed are the author's and are not necessarily the views of his employer, clients, investors, sponsors, or customers.

  One Response to “Ultra-wideband (UWB) Data Products Emerging”

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