Freescale's Decision To Pursue Own UWB Spec Not Looking So Wise Right About Now

The mess that was the UWB standards process looks to have come back around on Freescale, which was behind one of the two competing UWB proposals, Wireless USB. Despite earlier predictions that the technology was on track to be rolled out in products this year, two of the first companies Freescale convinced to use its chips have defected to the rival WiMedia version of USB. Apparently Freescale’s chips won’t be ready until early next year, its six-month lead over WiMedia evaporating, and the company appears to have gone quiet on Wireless USB, leading some to wonder if it’s giving up on the technology. When Freescale and the TI-lead WiMedia group couldn’t come to an agreement on the UWB spec, it was pretty clear that they weren’t doing themselves any favors by leading two similar, yet incompatible standards to the market to “let it decide”. For Freescale, it looks like it may have already missed the chance to even let the market make that decision. The WiMedia group will likely see this as some sort of moral victory — but here we are, still no UWB products on the market, and the potential of one less significant backer for the technology. Another victory for the increasingly unsustainable standards process.

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