Alereon touts UWB 'breakthrough advances'

The company has announced the availability of TCP/IP protocol over UWB as an alternative to the original wireless USB protocol.

Alereon announced major enhancements to its UWB [Ultra-wideband] product family and roadmap that exploit the large untapped spectrum in the UWB frequency bands authorized in the US, Europe, China, Korea, Japan, Russia, Canada, and many other major economies. Alereon says its announcement makes major advances in UWB technology versus the original UWB that has been shipping in customer products worldwide such as the Samsung Central Station CA750 and CA650 integrated monitor and docking stations. “Alereon’s advancements in UWB allow us to now provide customers with the wireless performance and convenience they have envisioned for many applications where Wi-Fi is simply not suitable,” said Eric Broockman, Alereon CEO.

Broockman added, “By driving significant performance enhancements in this untapped spectrum, we avoid the congestion, interference and throughput issues that Wi-Fi and Bluetooth suffer in the 2.4 and 5GHz spectrum which is destined to get even worse as more Wi-Fi devices come to market. Alereon's UWB performance enhancements are especially important to applications such as wireless monitors that require all day glitch free video performance, streaming video applications such as wireless HDMI cable replacement or Android handset to HDTV or specialty applications such as medical, industrial and military applications.”

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Alereon says it is "advancing UWB technology along four important axes: Protocols, Performance, Power and Price." Primarily, the company has announced the availability of TCP/IP protocol over UWB as an alternative to the original wireless USB protocol developed by the USB Industry Forum. TCP/IP is the protocol commonly used over Ethernet and Wi-Fi for connecting to the Internet. Alereon’s new TCP/IP protocol support is available for Alereon’s currently shipping chipset families. Alereon will initially support TCP/IP in a Windows environment, but future support for Android and Linux are planned for early next year.

Along the 'Price' and 'Power' axes, Alereon has introduced its the AL6301UWB BaseBand/MAC, a new 65nm low power chip for use in future generations of wireless monitors, USB mini-dongles and tablets. The AL6301 BBP/MAC uses a low power, and highly efficient 65nm manufacturing process. The AL6301 also includes sophisticated clock gating for low power operation and very low leakage power. The package size is a diminutive 6mm x 6mm, says Alereon – thus enabling very small adapter boards suitable for mini-dongles and portable applications. Power has been reduced 20% from the previous generation 90nm AL5301. The new AL6301 is available now.

Finally, on the 'Performance' axis, Alereon is announcing the development of the next generation AL7350, an advanced UWB BaseBand/MAC that is capable of achieving 1Gbps PHY rates at short range on the desktop and 2X extended range versus earlier WiMedia 1.1 compliant UWB chipsets. The AL7350 implements the more advanced WiMedia 1.5 specification together with maximum ratio combining. The new 1Gbps chip is currently in alpha sampling and will be available for general sampling in mid-2012. For more information see www.alereon.com.

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