Feeds

Bluetooth SIG backs Wi-Fi as fast WPAN choices proliferate

Turns to 802.11n

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Comment Controlling the technology that will underpin the next generation of fast wireless networks, especially for the multimedia home and HDTV, will be a critical competitive advantage, and the jostling for position is already starting.

IBM and others are putting their weight behind 60GHz options, and the Wi-Fi community is examining gigabit options, but for the nearer term, 802.11n Wi-Fi and UltraWideBand (UWB) are the main emerging options for high speed, short range connections.

UWB wins the day on performance and low power usage, provided distances are kept short, but with the once tortured 802.11n standards process now approaching resolution, UWB is in danger of falling behind in terms of commercial availability.

This is because of two factors – although several regulators, including those in the European Union, US, and Japan, have now opened up to UWB, there are many more decisions to be made before it becomes universal like Wi-Fi; and there are now some doubts over its actual performance in commercial platforms, which could delay the volume commitment from chipmakers and OEMs that is required to achieve the brutally tight economics of embedded personal area wireless.

Bluetooth over Wi-Fi

One sign that fast Wi-Fi is edging ahead of UWB in time to market terms is a decision by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), which controls the short range, mid-speed standard, to create protocols that will enable Bluetooth to use Wi-Fi as a transport.

The SIG had previously committed to developing its proposed high speed option using UWB – and specifically, the WiMedia standard implementation backed by most of the PC and consumer electronics sectors – as the transport, but now wants to offer an 802.11n choice as this is making better progress in getting into handsets (though currently in a pre-standard version).

This is presented by the group as a stopgap option before their first choice is fully launched, but if Bluetooth over Wi-Fi is widely adopted, that may shrink, or at least delay, the addressable market for a UWB version, except in applications that require extremely high speeds.

"We have got to be realistic," said John Barr, chairman of the SIG's board of directors, and director of standards realisation at Motorola. "UltraWideBand silicon vendors are not delivering anything close to what they have promised."

He told the Bluetooth Evolution conference in London last week that Motorola had shifted its focus because of UWB delays and is seeing rising demand for Wi-Fi in mobile devices. Since Motorola has not taken a major role in the WiMedia Alliance, whose technology was originally opposed in the standards bodies by a rival from former Motorola chip unit Freescale, it may also see 802.11n as an option over which it can have more influence.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Cray-cray Met Office spaffs £97m on VERY AVERAGE HPC box
Only 250th most powerful in the world? Bring back Michael Fish
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
The DRUGSTORES DON'T WORK, CVS makes IT WORSE ... for Apple Pay
Goog Wallet apparently also spurned in NFC lockdown
Microsoft brings the CLOUD that GOES ON FOREVER
Sky's the limit with unrestricted space in the cloud
'ANYTHING BUT STABLE' Netflix suffers BIG Europe-wide outage
Friday night LIVE? Nope. The only thing streaming are tears down my face
Google roolz! Nest buys Revolv, KILLS new sales of home hub
Take my temperature, I'm feeling a little bit dizzy
Cisco and friends chase WiFi's searing speeds with new cable standard
Cat 5e and Cat 6 are bottlenecks for WLAN access points
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.