Wisair said Wednesday that it had released its first UWB chipset, lacking only a media access controller to begin enabling OEMs to ship the technology in final form.
Wisair is part of the Multiband OFDM Alliance, a consortium of companies aligned around a particular ultrawideband standard. The Wisair solution, which includes the physical baseband chip (PHY) and the corresponding radio or RF chip, comprises two-thirds of the necessary components to bring UWB to market.
The MBOA alliance is competing against a rival group headed by Motorola Inc. and Freescale Semiconductor, a Motorola spinoff. Both sides have reached a stalemate within the IEEE working group dedicated to hammering out a UWB standard, prompting the MBOA group to develop its own independent standard. UWB promises to be able to transmit up to 480 Mbits of data across a maximum range of 10 meters, using both USB and IEEE 1394 protocols.
Currently, the MBOA group has settled on a PHY specification, according to Serdar Yurdakul, a spokesman for the Israeli chip maker, in an interview. By the end of the year, the MBOA group hopes to have finalized a MAC specification, so that Wisair can ship a full chipset to commerical partners by the second or third quarter of next year, Yurdakul said.
The chipset combines Wisairs 530 baseband chip and the 510 RF chip, made out of a silicon-germanium process, manufactured on TSMCs 0.13-micron process. The two chips are being made available as part of a toolkit to customers, Yurdakul said.