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ABI Research: Room for both W-USB, UWB Bluetooth

Posted: 02 Aug 2006     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Wireless USB  W-USB  UWB Bluetooth  ABI Research  WiMedia 

Certified Wireless USB (W-USB) and UWB Bluetooth offer differing opportunities for vendors aiming at mass markets for devices using short-range connectivity, but according to a recent ABI Research study, there will be room for both.

"The application protocols that will run over WiMedia solutions are one of the most interesting and hotly contested areas in the short range connectivity market place today," said principal analyst Stuart Carlaw.

"Startups in this market are moving to all-CMOS implementations in order to drive down the cost of devices and stimulate volume growth. Unfortunately the result is that they need to realise volume shipments within a small window of time, since the margins per chip are extremely low. In essence, UWB vendors need to secure a vehicle to mass market and both Bluetooth and USB hold the key to that door in the form of cellular handsets and the PC peripheral markets, respectively."

According to the press release, W-USB is here today and commercial product launches are imminent. Bluetooth over WiMedia is still two or three years away. The Bluetooth market realised 31.7 crore (317 million) unit shipments of ICs in 2005 and is set to reach over 50 crore (500 million) in 2006. But the USB market realises an installed base in the billions of ports. This pattern of size and timing clearly illustrates that things are in the balance.

"W-USB will enable start-up IC vendors to carve out significant niches for themselves. Broad-line IC vendors will crash in as UWB hits the handset market with a vengeance, a development which will coincide with Bluetooth ratification of the high data rate standard. There will be room for both, especially in recognition of the ability of WiMedia to support multiple application protocols on the same IC," Carlaw concluded.




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