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SHORT-RANGE: Nokia works on improved Bluetooth follower called Wibree
Posted by Thomas Chan - on Thursday, 05.10.06 - 10:55:41 CET under 01 - General News - Viewed 10718x
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Nokia has announced plans to introduce a new short range wireless technology similar to Bluetooth but in an improved format. It is named Wibree and said to be 10x more power efficient, using the same radio, antenna components and 2.4GHz frequency. With its improved power efficiency, it can be integrated into smaller and less costly devices, such as wrist watches, toys and sporting equipment Nokia said. The InfoWorld article listed only two examples to get you started, namely, jogger sensors and golf clubs. The usage is only limited by your imagination.
Wibree, similar to Bluetooth, has a distance limit of 10 meters with maximum data throughput of 1Mbps (while Bluetooth v2 can serve up to 2Mbps). Given the fact that it uses the same radio and antenna components as Bluetooth, the economics in rolling this out is also more feasible.

Nokia is working with Broadcom Corp, CSR Plc, Epson, Nordic Semiconductor, Taiyo Yuden Co. Ltd and Amer Sports unit Suunto to define the specification and fully expect to license this to interested parties. Nokia expects the first commercial version of the standard to be available during the second quarter of next year, while products using Wibree should follow soon after that. Nordic Semiconductor said it will be ready to ship Wibree chips by the second half of 2007.

ZigBee is another ongoing standardization project and has similar characteristics to Wibree. But it is targeting home, building and industrial automation as their initial markets. Its members include Motorola, Philips, Samsung, Siemens and Texas Instruments. Bluetooth's supporters are also working to lower its power consumption and reduce other drawbacks with the technology. It also plans to integrate with UWB (ultra wideband) wireless technology, which can transmit data up to 100Mbps. It is very interesting to see how all of these short range wireless technology would fair out in the coming future.


 
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