WirelessHD ramps up

Jan. 9, 2009
January 9, 2009 -- At the 2009 International CES, the WirelessHD Consortium announced that the WirelessHD Compliance Test Specification (CTS) version 1.0 is now available, and named Compliance Certification Services, Inc., (CCS) as the first WirelessHD Authorized Test Center (ATC). Also, Cavium Networks and Ralink announced a joint reference design for WirelessHD video distribution in the home using industry standard IEEE 802.11n and MPEG H.264 technology.

January 9, 2009 -- At the 2009 International CES, the WirelessHD Consortium, currently comprised of global leaders in the consumer electronic and personal computing industry, announced that the WirelessHD Compliance Test Specification (CTS) version 1.0 is now available to WirelessHD adopters and evaluators. In addition, Compliance Certification Services, Inc., (CCS) has been named the first WirelessHD Authorized Test Center (ATC). First WirelessHD testing will commence in Q109.

The WirelessHD Compliance Test Specification (CTS) 1.0 details the tests, procedures and equipment specifications established by the WirelessHD promoters to assist adopters in verifying WirelessHD product compliance. Mandated by the WirelessHD adopter's agreement, compliance testing also promotes interoperability among WirelessHD devices and is required for a product to bear the WiHD logo or to claim conformance to the WirelessHD specification.

Since the announcement of the WirelessHD 1.0 specification during the 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show, the WirelessHD Consortium reports that it has experienced growth and momentum including new adopter interest and the addition of Broadcom as a new promoter. This growth and momentum is expected to accelerate with announcement of the availability of the WirelessHD CTS 1.0.

The WirelessHD CTS includes three standalone test specifications. These include an RF test specification, a protocol test specification, and an interoperability test specification. In order for adopters to ship product into the market with the WiHD logo, products shall be required to pass all three specifications at a WirelessHD ATC.

The WirelessHD compliance program shall require that manufacturers submit their first product in each WirelessHD product category to a WirelessHD ATC. There are several product categories that include HDTVs, Blu-ray DVD players, set-top boxes, gaming consoles, A/V receivers, and others. Subsequent products, such as a manufacturer's second TV or DVD player, must also be tested. All products submitted to an ATC shall be tested against the specifications' requirements, after which the ATC sends a test report to both the manufacturer and the WirelessHD licensing agent. Upon confirmation that a manufacturer's product has been qualified as compliant, the manufacturer will receive confirmation that they may use the WiHD logo on that product.

CCS will become the first ATC and expects to commence operations of their first WirelessHD ATC in Fremont, California during the first half of 2009. CCS is versed in the professional certification fields of EMC, RF, Safety, DFS, SAR, WiMAX, Automotive EMC, 3D Antenna, and Digital TV. CCS currently is qualified as the certification body of the TCB (USA), FCB (Canada), and RCB (Taiwan). CCS has built and is concurrently running 11 labs in Taiwan, Mainland China, Japan and USA.

Based on completion of both the WirelessHD 1.0 specification as well as the WirelessHD CTS 1.0 specification, and given the near-term commencement of compliance testing of products, WirelessHD looks forward to seeing the first WiHD logo-bearing products in 2009. In support of this rapid progress, WirelessHD and several manufacturers have joined together to demonstrate the interoperability of several candidate products at the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show.

"The WirelessHD Consortium and its members remain committed to offering the best quality wireless high definition solution with simple network setup," says John Marshall, Chairman of WirelessHD. "Now that the CTS program is preparing for launch, consumers will be able to identify which products have passed the rigorous compliance and interoperability test by looking for the WiHD logo."

Cavium Networks and Ralink demo first WiFi 1080p60 Wireless HD reference design

Meanwhile, also at CES 2009, semiconductor companies Cavium Networks and Ralink Technology, a developer of 802.11x chips, announced a joint reference design for wireless High Definition video distribution in the home using industry standard IEEE 802.11n and MPEG H.264 technology.

The reference design uses the Cavium PureVu video processor CNW3602 (recently acquired from W&W Communications) and the Ralink 802.11n MIMO Wireless RT2880 chipset. The PureVu video processor compresses 1080p quality video to sub 50 Mbps which can now be sent with high reliability over a standard WiFi network. This is achieved with perceptual lossless quality and sub-frame latency using the patented Super Low Latency (SLL Technology) technology. The Ralink 802.11n chipset uses the company's MIMObility Technology to support up to 300 Mbps with robust connections at extended range.

According to the companies, the reference design provides electronic manufacturers with low, consumer-friendly price-point BOM cost while supporting up to 1080p60 high-definition video streaming with the sub-frame latency required for high-definition wireless gaming applications. The reference design supports up to 7.1 surround sound digital audio, HDMI version 1.3a compliant, with support for Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) functionality and legacy IR blaster control. In addition, High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection Interface Independent Adaptation (HDCP IIA) is supported to meet the requirements of a "Hollywood Approved" wireless transmission technology. Sophisticated rate adaption and packet loss mitigation technology is used to always provide the highest quality video no matter how much wireless interference.

"WiFi has become ubiquitous in the home, the ability to use standard 802.11n as a whole home wireless HD solution is very compelling for TV manufacturers which are already embedding WiFi for internet TV widget applications," comments Lars Herlitz, general manager of the multimedia business group at Cavium.

"The PureVu Video processor enables ultra low latency and perceptual lossless quality by compressing bit rates to a level which are robustly supported over Ralink's high performance 802.11n WiFi system," remarks Fred Jann, vice president of IC Design at Ralink. "Cavium and Ralink have come together to provide a truly viable standards-based wireless HD delivery solution that can be easily embedded into flat panel displays and set top boxes."

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