Wisair Announces 531 Chipset

By Jeff Goldman

July 19, 2005

This new release puts 480Mbps WiMedia-based ultrawideband only a few months away from showing up in products.

Last week at Wireless Japan 2005, ultrawideband (UWB) solutions provider Wisair released its second-generation CMOS-based MAC/Baseband System-on-a-Chip, the Wisair 531. According to the company, the chip is now ready for use in Wireless USB, wireless IP and wireless video applications, and complements Wisair’s recently-announced Radio Frequency (RF) chip, the Wisair 502.

Together, the 531 and the 502 form Wisair’s first complete UWB chipset solution, supporting short-range connectivity at speeds of up to 480 Mbps. The company says the solution offers the fastest WiMedia-compliant wireless chipset to date.

“This is a large step toward providing mature wireless USB products that meet market demands,” says David Yaish, Wisair’s president and CEO.

Amir Freund, the company’s vice president of marketing, says more than 40 customers already have the reference designs and development kit, and devices should start shipping with the chipset by the end of the year. “Right now, we are building all of the required facilities for production, so that by the end of the year we will be able to start manufacturing the quantities that are required by our customers,” Freund says.

The 531 is the company’s second-generation MAC/Baseband chip – it replaces the Wisair 530, which was released in October of last year. “We managed to do a lot of optimization in both this chip and the RF chip,” Freund says. “We reduced the die size significantly, and we reduced the external components that are required for the chipset.”

The development of the 531 and the demonstration at Wireless Japan, Freund says, comprised a major step forward for the company, attracting interest from a wide variety of vertical markets.

“It’s very significant in terms of the capability to provide a working 480 Mbps solution which is based on the MBOA/WiMedia standard – and in terms of the ability to start enabling real devices in the market,” he says.

Freund says Wisair, which has 65 employees and offices in Israel, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and the U.S., is now focused on developing specific reference designs for a wide variety of applications. The company will make further announcements regarding those designs, Freund says, in August at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco.

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