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Ultra-wideband technology provides superior performance

25 July 2007 News

The wireless communication space is witnessing a surge in new generation technologies such as ultra-wideband (UWB). Stemming from a need for a space-effective, secure, high capacity and easy-to-use wireless solution, UWB allows for superior performance without compromising on quality.

With existing technologies such as Bluetooth 2.0 and WiFi showing inadequacies in terms of power consumption efficiency, data rates, quality and security, UWB allows end users instantaneous access to a broad spectrum of information. Frost & Sullivan believes that the increased use of handheld and portable devices such as MP3 players, digital cameras, camcorders, mobile phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs) has created a need for a wireless technology providing speedy connectivity while consuming minimal power, making UWB the ideal solution.

UWB's ability to transmit vast amounts of data over short distances while consuming minimal power, allows a longer battery life, especially for portable and handheld devices running on battery power or having limited access to power supply. As memory storage capacities increase to several gigabytes, UWB facilitates these high-speed data transfers.

According to Frost & Sullivan research analyst Venkat Malleypula: "UWB has the ability to transfer data in the region of 480 Mbps and is soon likely to surge beyond 1 Gbps. Furthermore, this high speed interconnectivity is not restricted to wireless environments but is possible over power lines and coaxial media as well."

In addition to minimal power consumption, UWB also meets the need for high-speed connectivity. As most portable devices employ PCs to move data on and off their memory, high-speed connectivity for rapid synchronisation is a necessity. As a result, UWB gains a competitive edge over traditional technologies such as Bluetooth 2.0 and IEEE 802.11 a/b/g. The aptitude for high security transmissions is another UWB stronghold.

"As UWB operates below noise level, given the digital nature of its transmissions, these signals are virtually impossible to detect. This makes UWB pulses extremely difficult to intercept," points out Malleypula. "This feature prevents unauthorised access to secure information, making it a boon for organisations such as the military and the government."

Apart from government agencies, UWB is also affecting other areas on a large scale, ranging from healthcare and automotive, to home networking and multimedia communications. "Several companies are developing UWB technologies to specifically address the needs of various applications such as precision geopositioning systems, collision and obstacle avoidance radars, intelligent transportation systems, asset tracking, medical imaging and wireless communications," explains Malleypula. "This technology is also breaking new ground in the short-range wireless communications and multiple streams segment, which includes applications based on PCs, HDTV and consumer electronics."

These numerous advantages, along with the low cost and complexity of a UWB system, are driving phenomenal growth in this sector, projecting a positive outlook for the near future.

For more information contact Patrick Cairns, Frost & Sullivan, +27 (0)21 680 3274, patrick.cairns@frost.com





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