More noise ?

Andre Kesteloot andre.kesteloot at
Thu Aug 12 07:43:50 CDT 2004

FCC certifies Freescale's XS110 chip; major step forward for UWB

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) certified Freescale
Semiconductor's XS110 UWB chip set. The FCC certification covers Part 15
of the radio frequency rules, which mandates limits to protect users using
unlicensed spectrum between 3.1GHz and 10.6GHz. Freescale's XS110 chip set
also complies with rules aimed to prevent interference with cell phones
and GPS devices. The FCC certification is a major step forward for UWB,
hastening the day of the wireless technology replacing USB as a peripheral
connector for PCs and enabling a new generation of wireless devices.
Freescale would not disclose its customer list, but a company officer said
that one of the early uses for the company's direct-sequence approach
would involve sending video content from a set-top box to an LCD or other

Analysis: This early approval by the FCC boosts the Motorola-sponsored
scheme for the UWB standard (Freescale spun off from Motorola earlier this
year), allowing it to gain a step on the competing scheme advocated by the
Multiband OFDM Alliance (MBOA) group led by Intel, Panasonic, Samsung
Electronics, and Texas Instruments, among others (the Intel-led group
boasts seven of the Top 10 semiconductor manufacturers). Neither scheme
has won approval from the IEEE, and MBOA said that, for the time being, it
would sidestep the IEEE regulatory process altogether (Note: MBOA has
already won approval to run IEEE 1394 FireWire and USB protocols over its
own UWB link). Competition or not, representatives from the MBOA camp
praised the FCC decision as moving the entire UWB camp forward.

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