Somewhere over the rainbow in a land far away, wireless phones will actually be wireless. We’re not just talking about cellular voice and data here of course, we’re talking about handsets that can communicate, move data, sync and be charged all without the need for a single external wired connection. We still have a ways to go before technologies such as inductive charging and higher-speed data transfer standards are a commonplace, but Samsung has just announced a major step towards that reality with the advent of Wireless USB. By way of new System-on-a-Chip (SoC) technology, Samsung claims W-USB will allow portable devices such as mobile handsets and digital cameras to connect wirelessly using an interface that is nearly identical to a wired USB connection. Dr. Yiwan Wong, vice president, System LSI Division at Samsung is heading up the group responsible for the breakthrough and had this to say:
Connected consumer electronic products are the next step in enabling anytime, anywhere access to information and services. One of the keys to wireless connectivity is W-USB technology. While W-USB technology is just beginning to ramp up, its application will soon increase with the consumer electronic and mobile phone markets’ demand for wireless connectivity technology and UWB’s fast download speeds.
The SoC itself is comprised of a built-in ARM core, a UWB physical layer, a memory controller and a memory component. It operates in the 3.1~10.6 GHz-band range and as far as numbers go, we’re looking at speeds of 480 Mbps. Real world tests have shown actual transfer speeds of 120 Mbps which is hardly a rate to be scoffed at and security hounds will be happy to know Samsung employs 128 bit AES encryption to thwart prowlers. Long story short, W-USB can’t happen soon enough.