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1394 group approves UWB 'Firewireless' tech

Firewire over the air

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Firewire overseer the 1394 Trade Association (TA) has given the thumbs-up to the WiMedia Alliance's (WMA) technology to allow Firewire devices to communicate wirelessly across UWB links.

The move also gives tacit approval to the Multiband OFDM Alliance's (MBOA) attempt to define a future standard for UWB connections in place of a rival specification backed by Motorola.

Fed up of what it called "deadlock" in the IEEE standard-setting process, the MBOA announced last February that it would define a UWB specification outside of the IEEE's remit. It is defining the basic MAC and PHY specifications equipment makers will need to build UWB devices.

The WMA formally approved the MBOA technology in April this year.

The Wireless USB Promoter Group - like the MBOA, backed by Intel - is currently working to run USB over UWB, creating a Protocol Adaptation Layer (PAL) that interacts with the UWB radio system through the WMA's "convergence layer" - aka the WMA Radio Platform - which the 1394 has now approved and will form the basis for its own 'Firewireless' PAL.

The PAL allows Firewire devices to communicate at up to 480Mbps, compared to 400-800Mbps over wires.

The 1394 TA said it would work with the WMA to test devices to ensure they can operate across such UWB-based links and communicate correctly with other 1394 products. ®

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