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Wireless USB soon coming to market

NEC Electronics Corporation has begun shipping samples of a new device wire adapter (DWA) LSI chip to enable the connection of wired USB peripherals, such as a mouse or printer, to systems based on the Certified Wireless USB specification.

The uPD720180 DWA chip, which complies with the industry-standard USB-IF Certified Wireless USB specification, makes it easy and economical for designers to implement the relay of signals between wired USB peripherals and computers or consumer electronics products based on Certified Wireless USB technology.

Like the wired specification, Certified Wireless USB technology provides data transfer rates up to 480 megabits per second (Mbps), fast enough to transfer the audio data for one song in less than a second.

With our new adapter chip, users will be able to leverage the investment they have made in their current USB peripherals to make a seamless transition to the wireless standard, a crucial component for increasing acceptance of this interface technology.

The new DWA LSI chip provides the functionality required by the Certified Wireless USB standard formulated by the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), an alliance organized by Intel Corporation and other industry leaders. The device also enables interoperation with current USB devices.

Designers can easily implement a complete system based on Certified Wireless USB technology by combining the new DWA chip with NEC Electronics' uPD720170 host controller chip announced by the company in December 2005.

The new DWA chip also provides a hub function that allows users to connect up to four USB devices wirelessly. This feature makes it easy to configure optimum systems to meet different user requirements.

Certified Wireless USB technology from the USB-IF is an extension to the current USB 2.0 standard that has been hailed as the next-generation interface for computers and multimedia consumer electronics.

Certified Wireless USB technology delivers data transfer rates up to 480 Mbps, comparable to wired USB 2.0 connections, with a maximum wireless communications range of up to 10 meters. Unwiring the cable connection frees users from having to make cumbersome and unsightly wired connections to enjoy high-speed data access and allows users to connect their devices freely wherever they want to use them.

Certified Wireless USB technology will make it possible to expand the range of applications for computers and digital entertainment devices and encourage the discovery of new ways to enjoy digital media.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.