Skip to Main Content
Ultrawideband-a technology in which signals are transmitted in the form of billions of extremely short radio pulses spread over a bandwidth totaling several gigahertz-is highly anticipated because it will provide the wireless personal-area-network (WPAN) connectivity of Bluetooth, but at speeds up to 500 times faster. Despite that promise, a growing rift between the backers of separate ultrawideband (UWB) technologies has led to a stalemate within the IEEE 802.15.3a working group for WPAN charged with finalizing a standard for ultrawideband. The two groups at loggerheads are the Multiband-OFDM Alliance and the XtremeSpectrum group. Their main disagreements concern how much UWB devices might interfere with other radio users, how much power they will consume, and how much the chipsets needed to relay UWB signals between devices will cost.