The ultrawideband companies Staccato and Artimi are to merge, although as the resulting company will be known as Staccato Communications it is probably fair enough to say Staccato swallowed Artimi.
It's a bit odd to see consolidation in the UWB market this early on in the game, but not that surprising given the current economic climate. Some are saying this spells the end for UWB, the technology underlying Wireless USB (WUSB) and other similar offshoots, but I'm not so sure. It's true that Intel has shut down its in-house UWB startup, but the chip giant still has fingers in a couple of pies - notably, in this case, through its funding of Staccato.
It's even quite likely that we'll see WUSB adapter kits in the UK fairly soon, and the general ethos of getting rid of cables where possible is a very attractive one indeed.
Staccato's Ripcord2 UWB controllers are part of the latest generation of the technology, which has finally got it down to a single-chip product - this is an important step. Adding in Artimi's "Zero Install" software and WUSB technology might just make sense.
Ex-Broadcom man and current Staccato boss Marty Colombatto is certainly being typically bullish:
"As a result of this merger, we now have all the silicon and software assets necessary to drive the mass adoption of UWB in the largest semiconductor markets that exist today – personal computers (PCs), PC peripherals, consumer electronics and mobile handsets. This is reminiscent of my experience at Broadcom where we enjoyed explosive revenue growth by driving the adoption of new Ethernet technologies by offering customers unprecedented levels of integration, functionality, performance and cost."
As with all such things - and particularly given the recession - time will tell. But I'm pretty keen on ditching those USB cables ASAP.