So far, both Bluetooth and UWB have fallen a bit (perhaps more than a bit) short of the promise many saw in the two technologies. It was thus not much of a surprise when earlier this year the Bluetooth Special Interest Group and the two groups active in UWB, the WiMedia Alliance and the Ultrawideband Forum, said they would work to merge their wireless technologies. Now we can see the result. In an industry-first, Freescale last week demonstrated UWB silicon operating under existing Bluetooth software stacks. The demonstration took place at the WiCon Americas conference in Santa Clara, CA. Freescale collaborated with Bluetooth software vendor Open Interface to transmit UWB signals using Bluetooth protocols. A protocol analyzer from Frontline Test Equipment provided monitoring.
The demonstration had two laptops transferring the same data file over a conventional Bluetooth link and then over a UWB connection running Bluetooth protocols, contrasting the 1 Mbps Bluetooth transfer rate with the 110 Mbps UWB transfer rate. Open Interface's BlueTusk software employed the Bluetooth software stack while operating Freescale's XS110 DS-UWB radio. The Frontline protocol analyzer monitored the Bluetooth and UWB signals and the performance of the Freescale radios. "This demonstration shows the industry exactly how close to product readiness high-speed Bluetooth is by 'cutting the wires' and delivering exciting user experiences," said Martin Rofheart, Freescale's director of UWB operations.
For more on the Bluetooh-UWB demonstration:
- see Jeff Berman's EDN report