The high bandwidth radio technology known as Wireless USB just came out with a new set of standards. According to one press release, Wireless USB 1.1 Specification intends to pave the way for future mobile computing and compatible products.
More than five years have passed since the final Wireless USB 1.0 standard was released. The President of the USB Implementer’s Forum (USB-IF) says, “Consumers want a fast, easy-to-use solution to wirelessly transfer content from PCs to devices. Wireless USB 1.1 is the solution supporting robust, high-speed wireless connectivity among devices.”
This latest version of the technology adds some perks to simplify use while boosting energy efficiency. Not only does Wireless USB now have an expanded capacity for ultra-wide band support of frequencies 6 GHz and greater, but the technology’s backward compatibility ensures that the products you currently use don’t get trashed into a category of obsolete tech devices.
Lower amounts of power are used for 1.1’s idle phases. The power management specifically gives more control to hosts and devices in how they want to conserve energy. With a TDMA (time division multiple access) protocol—digital communication channels that are divided and take turns carrying data—hosts and devices can detect when the radio does not have to be transmitting, thus enabling powering down. A sleep mode is also in place that can be directed by the user or occur after a period of time.
Compatible 1.1 devices will also support Near Field Communication (NFC) which configures wireless connections as well as memory cards, user interfaces and more. Furthermore, NFC means that devices for Wireless USB 1.1 only have to be near the host to work. If you have the proximity, you don’t have to bother with complicated configurations.
As exciting as these new modifications are, USB-IF has not finalized a date of availability for Wireless USB 1.1 to the public. It’ll be up to the manufacturers in the forum to start producing computers and devices with the technology. It won’t be surprising if the technology is slow moving to catch on, as its 1.0 predecessor still struggles with it. Nonetheless, the concept of pairing devices to USB technology with more ease and on-the-go capabilities is exciting to think about.
Thoughts on Wireless USB 1.1?
Hungry for more Wireless USB 1.1? If you have the time, patience and energy to delve through a novel of 325 pages of technical specs, knock yourself out by checking out the official white papers.