Wireless USB 1.1 Specification Now Available With UWB Upper Band Support For Frequencies of 6 GHz and Above

Written By Sam on 4 October 2010

USB 1.0 emerged in 1996, in April 2000 we saw USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 there after and now in 2010 we are seeing the finalization of the Wireless USB 1.1 standard. Simply put, this means that you don’t need to have your USB devices tethered to your computer, cutting the clutter. The typical range for wireless devices is 10 meters, or 33 feet, similar to that for Bluetooth devices, with real world data speeds of 50-100 MBps, compares to just 2.1 for a typical Bluetooth (v2.0 + EDR) device. Wireless USB employs a wireless technology called Ultra-wideband (UWB), which operates in the frequency range of 3.1 to 10.6 GHz. Though this is not a new technology, previously used by the US military, it has come in to common use after the lifting of restrictions.

As of now, Wireless USB is not supported by too many hardware firms, though its developers are banking on the introduction of the wireless USB hub, which can allow you to connect your USB devices to the hub, which is then connected wirelessly to the computer via a dongle. One selling point is the inclusion of proximity based association, which doesn’t require you to pair devices; merely bringing them in proximity of each other automatically connects them to each other.

Other possibilities include the ability to stream video wirelessly, as the standard is capable of the high data rates required. Also, it will now be possible to store data such as videos and photos directly onto compatible HDD’s or mass storage devices, instead of just the flash cards on the cameras.

Adoption of this standard might be an issue as mature wireless standards like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi already hold a good market share and come as standard on most modern devices. Wireless USB however, has the advantage of better data transfer speeds and also the fact that there are very few PC’s out there that do not have a wired USB port. Another potential issue is data security, one that plagues all wireless standards, though the developers have incorporated security measures into the standard. Encryption is implemented by forcing the connecting devices to establish a connection using unique keys, eliminating the need for the user to use and remember passwords.

Overall, for users who do not need the wireless capability, wired USB will continue to cater to their needs, while for those who do adopt the Wireless USB standard, their usage capabilities will be more limited by range than potential interference with other devices that use Wi-Fi or Bluetooth standards.

Download Wireless USB Documents – http://www.usb.org/developers/wusb/docs/

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