Wisair Intros Wireless USB Dongle Set

By Jeff Goldman

January 07, 2008

The company’s new Wireless USB dongle-to-dongle solution is expected on the market by the end of the quarter.

At CES this week, ultrawideband chipset developer Wisair announced a new reference design for a Wireless USB host and device dongle set. The reference design, based on the company’s WSR601 single-die chip, includes a host dongle, a device dongle with power supply, software drivers, management application, and documentation. It promises speeds of 70-100 Mbps when connected to a Host Wire Adapter (HWA), and up to 200 Mbps when connected to a native host.

Serdar Yurdakul, Wisair’s director of marketing and business development, says the key strength of the reference design is the fact that it’s a complete dongle-to-dongle solution. “We were able to come up with a solution where the device side could be plugged in without going through a hub – which means, at a lower cost, you can have a Wireless USB device capability,” he says.

In order to do so, the reference design includes USB A, B and Mini-B connector adapters to ensure connectivity with as many devices as possible. And while a hub might normally be expected to be cheaper than a set of dongles, Yurdakul says the cost savings inherent in Wisair’s single-chip solution actually make up for the difference.WUSB-Dongle-Notebook.jpg

But Yurdakul says the reference design’s ease of use is its greatest asset – the two dongles pair automatically, with no need for a wired connection to enable the initial association.

“A hub will be always be useful, of course, but this particular reference design enables a literal USB wire replacement,” he says. “You take the two dongles, plug in both sides, and your wire is replaced. That’s really the beauty of it.”

The reference design promises full interoperability with any Wireless USB certified product, allowing a Wisair device dongle to work with a competitor’s host dongle, or vice versa – Yurdakul says Wisair has already secured WiMedia, FCC, and TELEC approvals for the device. “We are pretty much doing all the work so that our ODMs have an easy way of productization,” he says.

Yurdakul says Wisair is already working with several ODMs and OEMs on productizing the reference design, with the expectation that commercial products will be available later this quarter.

Looking ahead, Yurdakul says, the next step will be to support native implementation over a device’s USB port. “That will enable embedded versions of the devices much more easily,” he says. “Instead of the dongles, you can imbed this inside a product and save a lot of costs, but because it’s a native device over a USB port, it reduces a lot of the workload for OEMs in terms of customization and everything else. So it’s an ongoing process, but what we are doing right now will bear fruit in the coming months with native device based products.”

Jeff Goldman is a freelance writer and photographer based in Los Angeles, California. In addition to his work for Wi-FiPlanet, he writes for Jupitermedia's ISP-Planet, UWB Planet, and VoIP Planet. He blogs about the wireless industry at Wireless Weblog.

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