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By Guy Kewney  |  Posted 2004-11-16 Print this article Print

: FCC vs. ITU"> What he means is that if the FCC decides on an acceptable standard for UWB in North America, that might be enough to make the ITU decide to ban it. Naturally, it wont be phrased like that. But when you strip away the rationale and the technical white paper that will line every wall of the meeting room, thats what youll be left with. Currently, the dispute appears to center on the question of how far below background noise UWB should be. The American approach is (more or less) based on the typical radio noise level in the typical American home. The ITU feels that the rest of the world is less noisy, and so UWB radiation should be lower.
Do not dare call this a mindless quibble! Highly qualified engineers will pour forth from the floorboard cracks and the ventilation shafts and out from the sewers and down from the sky, to make detailed and devastating rebuttals of any argument that the IEEE may have. You, or I, will never be able to win those arguments on technical grounds because who knows who may be right?
Broadcom is setting its sights on boosting security. Click here to find out more. The Pulselink approach is one that impresses me. Its pragmatic. It plans to use UWB technology, not just over the air but along the electrical mains system and also down the coax cables that infest most houses. This produces a very-high-bandwidth data feed to home electronics. Thats fine for Pulselink, because it can sell to a captive market of cable companies that will build those silicon-germanium chips into their set-top boxes and head-end controllers. "Compatibility? What with? Who cares! We make the stuff at both ends ... " But for the consumer market, compatibility is everything. Anybody can make a UWB system that transmits and a receiver that decodes the transmission. The clever bit is making one that works with the competition, and the Wi-Fi Alliance (which certifies products for interoperability) is collectively going gray trying to sort this one out. For that, weve learned the hard way, the SIG approach is best. Everybody joins the SIG and the SIG owns the intellectual property, and if you dont conform, you cant license the technology. If the Bluetooth SIG decides that the next-generation Bluetooth is going to be UWB-based, heck, I might just support that. If only to avoid a fight ... Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on mobile and wireless computing.


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