Since its launch in late February, the Ultrawideband (UWB) Forum has continued to gain momentum, signing up a total of 30 members. The Forum's fast growth is fueled by interest in an UWB solution that supports the Common Signaling Mode (CSM) initiative, an essential enabler for the coexistence of multiple ultra-wideband solutions entering the market over the next several years.

In anticipation of the extension of the IEEE 802.15.3 standard into a UWB physical layer, the CSM technique is designed to allow different classes of devices, such as direct-sequence UWB (DS-UWB) and orthogonal-frequency-division-multiplex (OFDM) UWB devices, to communicate with each other in order to coordinate their actions and interoperate within the same wireless network. In addition, Forum members are fully supportive of the IEEE 802.15.3 Medium Access Control (MAC) sublayer and several members have working 802.15.3 MAC implementations demonstrating wireless IEEE 1394, video streaming, and IP-based applications. The Forum expects to release a UWB specification compatible with the IEEE 802.15.3 MAC in June 2004, and several silicon providers are preparing to release additional application specific implementations of this specification later in 2004 and in 2005. A number of consumer electronics companies are also expected to release products based on DS-UWB in the second half of 2004. For more information on the UWB Forum, visit the web site.

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