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USB goes Wireless

First certified devices launched

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The first devices submitted for Wireless USB certification have been approved, and four of them will be in US shops by the end of the summer.

Laptops from Dell and Lenovo, as well as hubs (and adapters) from IO Gear and D-Link, are the first devices to receive Wireless USB certification: ensuring that they'll work properly together and conform to the Wireless USB standard.

Belkin is already selling a Wireless USB hub-and-adapters set, but that pre-dates certification, and performance varies as the reviews on Amazon show.

The great thing about Wireless USB is the way it integrates with the USB standard; by equipping any device with an adapter it can instantly become wireless, without changes to the drivers or configuration. Eventually the hope is that Wireless USB will become integrated into devices, but until then hubs will come with adapters to connect legacy devices.

It certainly has the speed to replace most wires; peaking at 480Mb/sec over short distances, it uses Ultra Wideband (UWB) to create masses of bandwidth by utilising low power across a range of frequencies.

Right now it's not legal to use Wireless USB in the UK; though UWB is notoriously difficult to detect. The EU believes that legislation to legalise some form of UWB is necessary to prevent everyone importing the kit from the US and using it anyway.

Those approved products are:

  • Dell Inspiron 1720 notebook
  • D-Link–Wireless USB Adapter (DUB-1210) & 4-Port Wireless USB Hub (DUB-2240)
  • IOGEAR’s Wireless USB Hub & Adapter Kit
  • Lenovo ThinkPad T61/T61p 15.4-inch Widescreen Notebook

Observers predict European regulators will act quickly if grey imports mean the kit starts to appear in Europe. ®

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