Pardon me as I pick my jaw up, but Freescale has withdrawn from the UWB Forum: Freescale's predecessor company pioneered ultrawideband (UWB); it was bought by Motorola and its efforts spun off as part of Freescale. Both Freescale and Motorola were key members of the UWB Forum, which represented the opposing camp to what became the WiMedia Alliance. The two groups contended in the IEEE 802.15.3a task group deciding on high-speed, short-range physical layer networking technology. Neither budged, and Freescale used procedural and voting methods to keep a 75-percent majority from being reached. The IEEE task group voted to disband in January.
The UWB Forum has been the only bulwark of direct sequence UWB, Freescale's original and ongoing flavor, against the multi-band OFDM approach that Intel and many, many other major semiconductor, consumer electronic, and computer equipment manufacturers have put their efforts behind.
Thus I am shocked--but not the jaded and veteran EE Times reporter to whose story I link--that Freescale and Motorola have decided to exit the UWB Forum to singlemindedly pursue Cable Free USB, their flavor of USB 2.0 without wires. Apparently, participating in a group focused on "regulations, certification, interoperability and common signaling [schemes]," as Freescale UWB head Martin Rofheart is quoted as saying, splits their focus on pushing product out the door.
Freescale's Cable Free USB is not backed by the USB Implementors Forum, which controls the specification through certification, trademarks, and testing. They state, "Certified Wireless USB will support robust high-speed wireless connectivity by utilizing the common WiMedia MB-OFDM Ultra-wideband (UWB) radio platform as developed by the WiMedia Alliance." A quick look at the companies represented on the WiMedia and USB-IF boards makes it pretty clear: Intel, HP, Microsoft, and Philips are on both boards.
The WiMedia Alliance also scored what some see as a large victory recently by having the Bluetooth SIG retreat from its previous position in supporting both forms of UWB to backing just the WiMedia's flavor due to what the group described as a lack of interest in the Freescale flavor.