Wireless USB 1.0 spec to be finalized next month

Version 1.0 of the Wireless USB standard is expected to be approved in mid-May, with some products available in the U.S. at year-end.

Version 1.0 of the Wireless Universal Serial Bus (USB) specification, which is being promoted as the successor to the USB data transfer method between electronics devices, should be approved by mid-May, Intel said.

The Wireless USB specification is for 480M bps (bits per second) transfer speed over distances of about three meters and it will work at lower speeds up to a distance of about 10 meters.

A candidate Version 1.0 specification was sent to the Wireless USB Promoter Group on April 1 for a 45 day review, said Jeff Ravencraft, technology strategist for Intel's Communications Technology Lab, at a press event during the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) Japan 2005, on Friday.

"The new news is...we'll have the specification finalized on or about May 15," he said.

Version 1.0 of any technology is a key specification that enables developers to start product design. The Wireless USB Promoter Group, which is authorizing the specification, consists of Agere Systems, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, NEC Electronics, Philips Semiconductors, which is part of Koninklijke Philips Electronics, Samsung Electronics, and Intel.

Consumers can look forward to a handful of Wireless USB products appearing in shops in the U.S. by the end of this year, with many more products following in the first half of 2006, Ravencraft said.

NEC Electronics expects to have its first products on sale in Japan during the first half of 2006, according to Yoshiyuki Tomoda, senior manager at the company's PC Peripheral Systems Division.

Intel is planning to boost Wireless USB's transfer speed to 1G bps before the end of the decade, said Brad Hosler, Wireless USB architect at Intel's Communications Technology Lab.

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Paul Kallender

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