Note: The UWB resource page should be consulted to find additional companies that offer UWB silicon and software solutions, as well as test and design services.

Reference design portfolio increases by three

The SC3224R combo Bluetooth mini card reference design kit from Staccato Communications (www.staccatocommunications.com) combines both Bluetooth 2.0 EDR technology and Certified Wireless USB onto a single PCI Express mini card form factor design. SC3224R provides a fully integrated wireless PAN solution for notebook PCs. Its design enables the use of a single antenna shared simultaneously by both radios through a diplexer without any significant degradation in performance to either radio. Sharing a single antenna and a single mini card slot, the SC3224R reference design kit eliminates the need for additional antennas or mini card slots to the system.

While the initial version of the SC3224R reference design kit will support current-generation Bluetooth 2.0 EDR and Certified Wireless USB for dual-mode wireless PANs, future generations of the reference design will support tri-mode functionality by adding Bluetooth 3.0 capabilities.

Staccato has also added the SC3225R USB HWA half mini card and SC3226R Wireless USB secure digital I/O (SDIO) card to its portfolio of reference designs. Based on Certified Wireless USB and the WiMedia platform, these complete, production-ready reference designs feature firmware and drivers, and target mobile handset, PDA and PC notebook applications.

SC3225R is half the size of a standard PCI Express mini card, allowing the notebook PC vendor maximum flexibility in form factor design and system integration of multiple wireless technologies. SC3226R is based on Staccato's Ripcord family of single-chip, all-CMOS solutions. Providing a highly integrated solution for embedded applications, it supports native host, native device and/or dual-role-device modes through an SDIO 1.1 device interface.

Silicon, host reference designs target digital home/office

Silicon and reference designs for UWB host solutions are now available from Intel (www.intel.com). The Intel Wireless UWB Link 1480 media access controller (MAC) silicon and reference designs are based on the Certified Wireless universal serial bus (USB) specification from the USB Implementers Forum and the WiMedia Network specification from the WiMedia Alliance. They will allow independent hardware vendors, PC manufacturers and device OEMs to deliver high-bandwidth, low-power wireless solutions that provide personal area network connectivity in the digital home and office.

Intel's UWB host MAC silicon is integrated with multiple third-party UWB physical layers, to offer customers a choice of radio solutions in its host reference designs. The Intel host solution enables concurrent operation of Certified Wireless USB and WiNet and has been demonstrated to interoperate with multiple device peripherals such as cameras and printers. These UWB host solutions enable PCs, printers and digital TVs with existing high-speed USB ports to be upgraded to support wireless personal connectivity through USB dongles and ExpressCards.

UWB reference design family expands

Alereon's (www.alereon.com) family of UWB reference designs has been expanded to include Mini PCI and ExpressCard/34 designs for host applications. The existing family of reference designs includes Cardbus and USB dongles for WiMedia and Wireless USB hosts, and compact Flash cards for devices based on Certified Wireless USB.

The Alereon mini PCI and ExpressCard/34 reference designs provide fast and simple ways for customers to generate solutions based on Certified Wireless USB from the USB Implementers Forum or on the WiMedia specification for desktop and laptop PCs. The ExpressCard/34 features superior performance and lower power consumption compared to the aging Cardbus or PCMCIA slot, making it a suitable choice for today's UWB solutions. Mini PCI is a smaller-sized implementation of the common PCI specification already used today in designs for laptop and desktop computers. Both the mini PCI and ExpressCard/34 reference designs are available using multiple WiMedia media access controller (MAC) chip vendors.

Evaluation kit available for UWB PHY

An evaluation kit for the single-chip CMOS, RTU7010 WiMedia-based UWB physical layer (PHY) is available. Realtek Semiconductor's (www.realtek.com.tw) RTU7010-EVK evaluation kit consists of two RTU7010 daughter boards, two MAC-PHY interface controllers in CardBus form factor, PCI driver, easy-to-use GUI, user manual and data sheets, plus required power supplies. It enables detailed evaluation of RTU7010 performance, compliance, and interoperability, including transmitter quality, power measurement, spectrum measurement, receiver sensitivity, packet error rate, separate diagnostics for header and frame check sequences, and link quality indicator for all data rates and channels. Additionally, it allows testing in either single or dual receive antenna mode, making evaluation of the performance advantages of maximum ratio combining (MRC) possible.

Dual-band RF CMOS transceiver core being readied for delivery

Infineon Technologies (www.infineon.com) has successfully taped-out of a dual-band UWB RF transceiver core based on the company's CMOS process. The core supports both the 3 GHz to 5 GHz frequency band and the above -6 GHz band up to 9 GHz, as defined by WiMedia. Ideally suited for both Certified Wireless USB and Bluetooth-over-WiMedia UWB systems, it will be an essential component for UWB system manufacturers developing applications like wireless video streaming, picture download and file transfer at speeds up to 480 Mbps. In addition to applications in mobile devices, the UWB RF-CMOS transceiver technology is also suitable for PCs, printers, DVD drives, TV sets, and other consumer electronic devices. A single-chip CMOS UWB device, including MAC, PHY and RF transceiver, based on WiMedia UWB specifications is planned for release in mid-2007.