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Samsung intros tiny W-USB chip

Feb 19, 2009 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

Samsung has introduced a tiny W-USB (wireless USB) chip for mobile devices. Claimed to transfer data at up to 120Mbps, the “S3CR650B” uses an ARM9 core, and provides wireless and SD/MMC interfaces, flash memory, and a USB 2.0 interface, the company says.

(Click here for a larger view of Samsung's S3CR650B)

Samsung's S3CR650B, said to employ a ARM9 core for its baseband processor, measures just 8mm x 8mm, with a claimed power consumption of just 300mW. The company says the device provides transfer speeds of up to 480Mbps — comparable to wired USB 2.0 — though it concedes that this drops to 120MBps when “conventional payload overhead” is taken into account.

According to Samsung, its W-USB SoC (system on chip) will target phones and digital camera initially, and gradually expand to peripherals such as printers, projectors, and speakers. Some of these markets are already catered for by Bluetooth, so why would you want W-USB (also called WUSB) instead? Speed aside, Samsung touts its SoC's “seamless” security measures, such as 128-bit AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) and a static signal that makes hacking via wiretapping and signal tracing “difficult.”

The S3CR650B operates over ranges of up to ten meters, using MB-OFDM (multiband orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing) on frequencies between 3GHz and 10GHz, says Samsung. In addition to the W-USB radio, the SoC also provides SD/MMC memory card interfaces, an unspecified amount of flash memory, and the ability to add a wired USB 2.0 OTG (on-the-go) interface without additional circuitry, the company says.

W-USB was first proposed by Intel in 2004, and has since been promoted by the Wireless USB Promoter Group, of which Samsung is a member. Meanwhile, the wired USB 3.0 specification unveiled last November targets physical-layer throughput of 5Gbps, with a real-world transfer rate of 500Mbps.

According to In-Stat market research quoted by Samsung, worldwide W-USB sales are expected to reach US$22 million this year and increase to US$390 million in 2012, for an annual compound growth rate of over 200 percent.


Saming says the S3CR650B is currently sampling and will be in mass production starting in the second quarter. The device will be demonstrated at next week's Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Spain, in Hall 1, booth #D33.

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