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Ultrawideband Signal Passes Data Through Walls 139

writertype writes "You may already be familiar with ultrawideband; UWB technology has been specifically talked about and designed to replace wired USB connections for over a year. Due to its high bandwidth, it's also been considered as an A/V cable replacement. The problem is that UWB radio performance degrades precipitously, effectively confining it to a single room. Until now, that is. Startup TZero says its UWB implementation provides high throughput through walls. Will this be an effective competitor to 802.11n?"
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Ultrawideband Signal Passes Data Through Walls

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  • Other uses (Score:5, Interesting)

    by loraksus ( 171574 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @04:55PM (#15490142) Homepage
    These folks didn't seem to have too much trouble trying to get the signal through walls ;) []
    That is a pretty primitive picture, some of the stuff in labs is quite a bit more advanced.

    BTW, is anyone noticing font corruption on that page in Firefox?
  • by FudRucker ( 866063 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @05:17PM (#15490300)
    as anyone knows reading my coments knows i am no IT guy, but i do work construction and done it for years, most commercial office buildings are built not with lumber and a lot of what is called sheetmetal stud and track, also there is sheetmetal HVAC ducts & etc.; lots of metal, well anyhow metal always blocks radio signals so within a large building with enough walls to go through i can see why wireless will have limitations...

    i would imagine a large enough office building would benefit from a repeater system like some ham and commercial radio systems already use...
  • Why do you need it? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by phorm ( 591458 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @05:22PM (#15490336) Journal
    From my understanding of the article, this is intended as a wireless protocol for USB devices. That being so, why would you need it to go through walls, or better yet, why would you want it to?

    Personally, in 99% of the cases, I'd be more than happy to have my USB signals stay put where nobody but me can read them... despite the assurance about "security being mandatory" we all know that in most cases if a signal can be picked up, it can be hacked.

    The only reason I might want something that passes through walls is if I decided to stick a media server, etc in the closet, and have it controlled by a local device connected by UWB... and either a wireless or hardwired connection for the video.
  • Re:Getting Crowded (Score:3, Interesting)

    by arivanov ( 12034 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @05:59PM (#15490595) Homepage
    Do not worry. They will not.

    The only reason UWB has even started being considered by regulators in most countries was the assumption that it will be limited to a line of sight.

    UWB that goes through walls will make all the early fears resurface once more and delay regulatory approval for UWB where necessary.

    Frankly some of the pushers of competing tech like 802.11n should invest into this technology ASAP.
  • "10-4 Good Buddy" (Score:3, Interesting)

    by LM741N ( 258038 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @06:04PM (#15490618)
    It will work great until your neighbor on CB running 10kW speaks into the mic.
    (same for BPL Internet)
  • by pe1chl ( 90186 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @06:05PM (#15490631)
    I wonder, if, as you say, it's something like light could it be routed through a "fiber-optic"-like material?

    Yes. That is commonly called "waveguide". It operates exacty like a fiber-optic cable, but at the wavelength of these signals.
    Of course, the wavelength being 3-10cm it needs to be physically larger than the fiber for 800nm wavelength "light".

    Waveguide often has an air dielectricum, and the dimensions for this wavelength would be slightly smaller than the wavelength. This makes it a bit less practical.
    But you could have a waveguide with some other core, and it would be smaller.
  • by pe1chl ( 90186 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @06:11PM (#15490654)
    Try 802.11g and 802.11a equipment side-by-side. You will find that the 802.11a (5.5 GHz) equipment has considerably more difficulty over non-line-of-sight paths than 802.11g (2.4 GHz) has.
  • by Phreakiture ( 547094 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @07:39PM (#15491132) Homepage

    The TZero name is already taken. Anyway, I'd much rather have this TZero [].

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"