Print 25 comment(s) - last by Soviet Robot.. on Nov 6 at 3:03 AM

Image courtesy ITmedia
Wireless USB makes an appearance in Japan

Y-E Data has announced the first wireless USB hub based on Ultra Wideband (UWB) technology. The Y-E Data YD-300 UWB Hub has received official Japanese certification and is available now.

The YD-300 is based on an UWB chipset from Wisair and can replace any wired USB connection with a wireless link. As a result, a USB peripheral such as a printer, scanner, digital cameras or removable hard drive can be placed anywhere in a room rather than having to be in close proximity to the host PC. The hub communicates with the host PC via a dongle that plugs into a free USB port.

The YD-300 provides four USB 2.0 ports and provides full 480 Mbps transfers over the air at distances up to 10 meters. As of now, the only listed operating system supported is Windows XP. Y-E Data also plans in the near future to provide ExpressCard/34 and PCI Express Mini Card UWB solutions.

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Nice, but...
By captchaos2 on 11/2/2006 10:08:10 AM , Rating: 3
now you'll have to power the hub unit with batteries or plug it in to provide power to the usb peripherals.

RE: Nice, but...
By djcameron on 11/2/2006 10:15:14 AM , Rating: 3
In the case of peripherals like printers, it would be nice if the hub could draw its power from the peripheral.

RE: Nice, but...
By TomZ on 11/2/2006 3:21:58 PM , Rating: 2
That would require a change in the USB specification, which currently allows power to flow from hubs to devices only. I think having devices power hubs would complicate things too much, especially when you consider the multi-level capabilities of USB (i.e., hubs feeding other hubs).

RE: Nice, but...
By Aikouka on 11/2/2006 10:36:00 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think that'll really be a big deal as you can position it near an outlet. I'd be interested in something like this as I lost a (full) 250GB HDD last night because of my desk being too crowded and having to have drives so close to my computer.

So, let's hope we can get something like this soon :).

480 mbps??
By MobileZone on 11/2/2006 10:56:52 AM , Rating: 2
Hummm.... it's a humiliation for the 11n guys.

RE: 480 mbps??
By BornStar on 11/2/2006 11:52:34 AM , Rating: 4
Perhaps you missed the part where it's only good up to 10 meters.

RE: 480 mbps??
By bbomb on 11/2/2006 9:47:19 PM , Rating: 2
Well just how much bandwidth does a printer or keyboard need?

RE: 480 mbps??
By TomZ on 11/2/2006 3:25:55 PM , Rating: 2
As the above-poster said, the difference is performance-at-range. "Certified Wireless USB performance is targeted at 480Mbps at 3 meters and 110Mbps at 10 meters." (ref.

dual devices now, wireless only in 5 years?
By Kuroyama on 11/2/2006 12:13:58 PM , Rating: 2
I imagine this will be like parallel printer ports. For a few years printers had parallel and USB, but now almost all are USB only. In the near future I imagine computers will ship with wireless USB built in, perhaps a year after that printers and other devices will have both wireless USB and regular USB, then finally in perhaps 5 years printers and such won't have any plugs other than for power.

I suppose most USB powered things like cameras and Skype phones can get a wire to some power source, or go re-chargeable. Heck, if the phone has a wireless handset then it'll need to be re-chargeable whether or not it uses wireless USB or WiFi.

RE: dual devices now, wireless only in 5 years?
By Aikouka on 11/2/2006 1:43:59 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I think printers would keep the industry standard WiFi/ethernet connection on them. The range that you get simply beats out WUSB in this case. I have an all-in-one HP photosmart 3210 at home and the printer is so nice to use on the network. I have it connected through a USR WiFi bridge connecting to my linksys wireless router, since I didn't get the printer with the built-in wifi (it cost $100 more and the bridge was $50 :P). Although this is nice, since the living room pc's wifi card died (go netgear), so now it connects to the switch that the printer and wifi bridge connect to :).

All in all, WUSB may end up being added to PCs as an extra added feature on high-end boards, but I think wifi/ethernet will still be top dog when it comes to items like printers.

By TomZ on 11/2/2006 3:28:45 PM , Rating: 2
It's really a function of how many computers will directly connect to the printer. If there's just a single PC, then wired or wireless USB is far more convenient because it is simpler and easier to use.

But if you have a number of computers needing to share a printer, and you have some wired or wireless Ethernet infrastructure in place, then Ethernet is the way to go. But the latter solution involves a slighty higher cost in terms of hardware, setup, and maintenance.

By Soviet Robot on 11/6/2006 3:03:55 AM , Rating: 2
Ditto. The built in Wifi on my PS C6180 is much more useful and valuable than wireless USB. Why? Because I don't have to buy a print server.

Just doesn't make sense
By timmiser on 11/2/2006 2:27:25 PM , Rating: 2
A wireless hub so all your wires can route to this? Seems like the focus should be on the actual USB devices being wireless and sending data direct to the computer. Oh wait, that's bluetooth!

RE: Just doesn't make sense
By TomZ on 11/2/2006 3:34:11 PM , Rating: 3
Yea, except for the minor detail that the bandwidth of Wireless USB is more than 100x what Bluetooth can provide. The focus of Bluetooth is low-cost, low-bandwidth, and low-power consumption. The focus of USB is compatibility with wired USB links. So an entirely different focus.

RE: Just doesn't make sense
By timmiser on 11/3/2006 12:50:42 PM , Rating: 2
Good point!

Only windows XP?
By Schugy on 11/2/2006 3:42:30 PM , Rating: 2
At first I thought the UWB is transparent and doesn't require it's own driver. But this is trash for everyone using Solaris, BSD, Mac, Linux or even old Windows versions.

RE: Only windows XP?
By TomZ on 11/2/2006 3:54:11 PM , Rating: 2
That would be nice, but probably the driver has to handle things like controlling the RF transceiver, selecting available devices to communicate with, and security (if that is implemented - not sure about that). Therefore, the functionality needed is more than a plain vanilla USB hub.

RE: Only windows XP?
By mlau on 11/5/2006 6:12:58 AM , Rating: 2
At least for Linux drivers have been available for a few months now
(check the linux-usb-devel list). People at Intel have been hard at work to
create a WHCI driver. Three cheers for Intel!

By S3anister on 11/2/2006 9:28:32 PM , Rating: 2
IT SAID " WIRELESS USB" IN IT. that made me think that a device based on wireless usb, (which is not out yet... as far as i know) had come out!!!!

bah. i believe this article needs a better title.

By S3anister on 11/2/2006 9:33:33 PM , Rating: 2
wait... if this is actually wireless USB, it's sooo not what it was made out to be a year and a half ago.

By SixDixonCider on 11/5/2006 1:06:34 AM , Rating: 2
If memory serves me correct, I thought it's first implementations were were high end AV multichannel audio recievers. Then again tho, my memory is pretty bad.

no chicken n egg
By Lazarus Dark on 11/2/2006 10:58:59 AM , Rating: 2
this is genius. it elimenates the chicken and egg scenario. uwb can be used immediately and then devices including it can begin to come out since the standard is already established in a standalone product.

RE: no chicken n egg
By Avatar28 on 11/2/2006 9:15:28 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. It's a great stopgap and I think I'm gonna have to pick me up one of these after they are available here in the states.

I seriously doubt it will eliminate wired USB ports anytime soon, though. While it may (and probably will) be integrated into motherboards, initially as a separate chip and later as part of the chipset, there is still a need for wired USB, for instance for a device that requires power from the port (and there are a lot).

Cheap, painless KVM?
By kkwst2 on 11/2/2006 2:54:34 PM , Rating: 2
Where I could see this being really useful is for a switching solution if you could toggle between several dongles.

RE: Cheap, painless KVM?
By dice1111 on 11/2/2006 3:41:11 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder if you can have serveral hubs on one dongle?

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