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Commercial UWB in Korea

Ultrawide band (UWB) has known its ups and downs (mostly downs), so this must surely be good news for a technology which came on the scene with a splash more than three years ago, but as was the case with the Brazilian soccer team during the World Cup, never quite managed to deliver on that early promise.

The good news has to do with the distribution later this year by the Korean government of UWB frequency. The move will spur greater interest in semiconductor development by both local and non-Korean companies.  Research group MIC estimates that the global UWB market will grow to more than $1.3 billion, with the Korean domestic market accounting for about 25 percent of that. 

The distribution of frequency will allow the introduction of consumer electronics devices with embedded UWB by early 2007. UWB is a short-range (10 meters or so) technology capable of achieving up to 480 Mbps in bursts. Industry insiders say that by 2008 speeds of up to 600 Mbps will be available. This is all a bit theoretical because, depending on the frequency allocation, interference issues will have to be addressed.

For more on Korea's move on UWB:
- see Luz Park's report from Nikkei Electronics Asia

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