Certification has been awarded to consumer wireless USB products for the first time, with Dell and Lenovo both announcing notebook computers using the technology.
Although the products are not currently available in the UK — wireless USB (WUSB) will only be sanctioned for use here in the next couple of months — they mark the first mass-production devices to incorporate the standard. Like the upcoming Bluetooth 3.0 (due next year), WUSB is based on ultrawideband (UWB), a low-power, high-bandwidth, short-range radio technology.
Last year ZDNet.co.uk exclusively revealed that UWB was to be legalised by the European Commission, an event which took place this February, with the EC pushing for the technology to be rolled out across the continent. Aside from WUSB and the new Bluetooth standard, other uses for UWB include the development of wall-probing radars and high-precision location finding.
On Monday, the USB Implementers Forum announced the first products which will bear the "Certified Wireless USB" logo. These include Dell's Inspiron 1720 notebook and Lenovo's ThinkPad T61/T61p notebooks, as well as WUSB adapters and hubs from D-Link and Iogear to help legacy computers and devices make use of the new standard. The products will offer a theoretical transfer speed of 480Mbps at a distance of 3m, and 110Mbps at 10m. WUSB is also supposed to allow up to 127 devices to be connected at once.
"This is the beginning of a very important time for Certified Wireless USB, as the vision of a world without wires is realised," said Jeff Ravencraft, president of the USB Implementers Forum. "It is a great endorsement to have consumer-recognised PC and CE [consumer electronics] companies be the first to incorporate Certified Wireless USB into new products. This makes a huge statement that Certified Wireless USB is here."
Ravencraft also indicated that many other manufacturers would follow suit in the coming months "as wireless USB continues its march to broad adoption". The resulting products should become available in the UK soon after UWB is legalised here on 21 August.