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Freescale demos UWB-enabled media server

Jun 22, 2005 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Haier Corp. and Freescale Semiconductor jointly demonstrated a UWB (Ultra-Wideband) high definition (HD) television and digital media server, wirelessly broadcasting HD video and audio streams across a stage. The demonstration, which occurred at Freescale's annual Technology Forum, showcased a “critical milestone for wireless home entertainment systems,” according to the companies.

(Click for larger view of Haier's UWB-enabled HDTV media server)

“This first UWB-enabled consumer product marks the beginning of great wireless experiences for consumers,” said Franz Fink, senior vice president and general manager for Freescale's Wireless and Mobile Systems Group, at the demonstration. “UWB is now a proven technology.”

“UWB gives consumers the freedom to place the television anywhere they would like in the room, without requiring a physical connection to a set-top box, digital video recorder or media server,” said Yu Zi Da, vice president of Haier, a Chinese manufacturer of consumer electronic products.

Whereas current wireless video solutions cannot accommodate the 20 megabits/second or so required to accommodate high definition and MPEG2 video streams, Freescale claims its UWB technology is capable of transferring multiple high definition or MPEG2 movie streams at distances up to 20 meters and data rates up to 110 megabits/second. Current Wi-Fi solutions, according to Freescale, are only capable of broadcasting standard definition video streams at between 5 and 7 megabits/second. UWB also causes less interference than conventional narrowband radio solutions, according to its advocates, because of its combination of broad spectrum, low power and pulsed data in the transmission vehicle.

The digital media server, about the same size as a conventional DVD player, provides a tuner, DVD playback capability, personal video player (PVR) functionality, and a UWB subsystem to wirelessly stream media to the HDTV. The HDTV, in turn, is a 37-inch, LCD-based, 1080i-resolution TV with a Freescale UWB antenna embedded inside. Haier will bundle the server and HDTV and make them available in retail outlets for Chinese consumers in Q4 2005. Expectations are that they will available in the US in 2006.

Freescale's UWB approach competes with an alternative technology championed by Intel.

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