Parks Associates Blog

Monday, November 03, 2008

WiQuest has closed its doors

EE Times has reported that UWB chipset company has closed its doors, and indicated that Intel has ended its research efforts in UWB. So, is it a death knell for ultra-wideband? Eric Broockman, Alereon's CEO, says no in a blog he posted last Friday. His indication is that WiQuest's struggle to get a single-chip solution that could meet the widely varying regulatory restrictions that different countries have put in place was a reason why it - but not the entire UWB industry - failed. The WiMedia version of UWB has the backing of both the Bluetooth SIG and the USB Forum, but if I'm a handset maker, I'd be leery of implementing a short-range radio solution in my devices if I wasn't 100% assured that it could meet the regulations set forth in international markets.

Others argue that the lack of a killer application and a subsequent inability by UWB chipset makers to grow volumes significantly to drive down chipset costs (which are estimated still at $15) are reasons why the industry hasn't seen the growth that was once projected. Finally, it does appear that companies are continuing to take a close look at a variety of wireless solutions that can serve as both short-range cable replacement and for whole-house distribution of video content. So, the field appears wide open for Wi-Fi, 5 GHz, 60 GHz, and the remaining UWB companies.

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