Print 23 comment(s) - last by Verran.. on Feb 12 at 11:06 AM

The handy new chips from Samsung will give you a USB link -- without the USB ports

Samsung has created a new wireless universal serial bus (W-USB) System-On-Chip (SoC) which promises to allow mobile devices such as phones camera and laptops to connect to each other or other devices through an interface that is virtually identical to a cabled USB connection, only without the wires.

The perks of keeping the USB technology in the W-USB SoC are numerous.  One important factor is security; with the proper encryption, USB can be a relatively secure technology.  Furthermore, USB is fast, as is W-USB.  With Samsung's system, a 700 MB file takes approximately a minute to copy.

Dr. Yiwan Wong, vice president, System LSI Division, Samsung Electronics states, "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 (ultra wide band) fast download speeds."

Aside from camera, laptops, and cell phones, Samsung is also targeting wireless printers, beam projectors, wireless hard disks, wireless displays, and wireless speakers as possible applications of the technology.  Examples of the technology in action would be a camera which automatically dumped its pictures whenever near its home computer or an MP3 player that could connect to surround sound speakers without cords to pump out (relatively) high quality audio.  And watch out RIAA -- the tech even opens the door to peer-to-peer cell phone file sharing, says Samsung.

The tech could even end up in appliances and give a boost to metering effort such as Google's new PowerMeter program, by giving appliance makers an easy way to transmit usage data at a low power cost.

The new tech works in the 3.1~10.6 GHz-band and uses CMOS technology.  Samsung's single chip solution consists of an ARM core, a UWB physical layer, and a memory controller with SD card, MMC, NAND flash memory, and a high-speed USB 2.0 OTG (On-The-Go) interface also built in.  The UWB transmitter offers a throughput of 480Mbps, with a speed under average payloads of around 120 Mbps, compared to 50 Mbps using the most advanced Bluetooth technology (currently not yet standard).

The signal is also hard to hack as it employs a 128 bit AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) encryption algorithm.  It also uses a static signal to further prevent signal monitoring.

All of these features are packed into a small power envelope of 300mW. Samsung will begin shipping the chips in Q2 2009 and expects them to be invading electronic devices of all types by holiday season of this year.

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By Verran on 2/11/2009 2:28:47 PM , Rating: 2
Examples of the technology in action would be a camera which automatically dumped its pictures whenever near its home computer

This was the first thing I thought of when I heard of it. It would be awesome to not have to dig out my cable every time I take a picture and want to load it to my PC.

It would be great for my iPod too. Updating songs without plugging in or docking? Sign me up!

RE: Cameras
By theapparition on 2/11/2009 2:44:45 PM , Rating: 1
It would be great for my iPod too. Updating songs without plugging in or docking? Sign me up!

Ehh, some MP3 players already let you do this. Alas, Apple knows better than you and won't implement this in Wi-Fi. What makes you think that they'll suddenly implement this in WUSB?

RE: Cameras
By omnicronx on 2/12/2009 10:41:18 AM , Rating: 2
Wireless sync is overated with wireless b/g. On my Zune I use it exclusively for podcasts and thats about it, because transfers take so long and burn the battery, you might as well plug the thing in.

Word on the street is that the broadcom chip used in the iphone/ipod touch is going to be updated to include wireless n support (among other things such as FM radio support). I would not be surprised to see wireless sync released when this happens. (not saying old devices won't have support too, just saying it would probably be a good time)

Don't forget that although the Zune had the ability wireless sync upon release, it was not until the 2.0 update that you were able to use it. I would much rather a tried and tested solution, rather than a patchwork solution after the fact.

RE: Cameras
By SLEEPER5555 on 2/11/2009 2:49:17 PM , Rating: 5
get a ZUNE

RE: Cameras
By Murloc on 2/11/2009 3:07:00 PM , Rating: 5
you would still need to buy the iWUSB docking station which allow you to use w-usb. And apple will make you pay 879,99$ for it, because it got a shiny plastic encasing.

RE: Cameras
By SlipDizzy on 2/11/2009 3:54:46 PM , Rating: 2
I'll pretty much buy anything shiny, encased in plastic, and has an apple logo on it.

RE: Cameras
By Master Kenobi on 2/11/09, Rating: 0
RE: Cameras
By Belard on 2/11/2009 11:32:43 PM , Rating: 2

If a brand name is going to get people wound up, that would be SONY.... with this new SONY device:

This thing should be better than anything else before!

RE: Cameras
By meepstone on 2/11/2009 4:46:44 PM , Rating: 2
Anything shiny would work. Look at all the parents that bought the chinese toys with toxic lead paint. Cus we all know lead makes the toys more shiny.

RE: Cameras
By Verran on 2/11/2009 3:58:24 PM , Rating: 1
Oops. I didn't realize that casually mentioning my iPod would open the floodgates of anti-Apple bashing. What have I done? I'm so sorry. I can only beg forgiveness.

RE: Cameras
By teldar on 2/11/2009 6:35:14 PM , Rating: 4
I think that would be apple bashing.
And is it bashing if it's true. Apple limits its users significantly through proprietary everything.

RE: Cameras
By Verran on 2/12/2009 9:24:29 AM , Rating: 1
Just because it's true doesn't mean it needs to be stated any time anyone mentions anything about Apple. The out-of-nowhere bashing just gets stale and old. I'm not here promoting my iPod or touting it like it's the second coming of Christ or something. It's just a media player and it works for me.

Zunes don't interface with my car radio like my iPod does. Neither does anything else that I've tried. iPod is the standard and I made the sacrifice of buying a proprietary piece of hardware in order to get the most functionality. Considering that my only use for my iPod is my car, it would have been stupid to buy something else that doesn't work as well there.

Just because iPods don't work for you doesn't mean they don't work for anyone. Next time someone mentions an iPod casually and you get the urge to bash it out of sheer nerd rage, try just letting it go and staying on topic. I dare you!

RE: Cameras
By omnicronx on 2/12/2009 10:53:55 AM , Rating: 2
Nobody said the ipod/iphone does not work, its a great device. BUT.. it would be even better if Apple stopped trying to play big brother and dictating how people must use their devices.

Anyone who has an unlocked iPhone knows the potential of the device. Applications/workarounds have been made to sync via wireless, so its not like the device cannot do it. Apple for whatever reason has just decided not to implement it. (although I do believe that wireless sync is not as useful as it seems with wireless G limitations).

Copy/Paste is another feature that has been implemented on unlocked phones, yet legit users are still waiting for what most would call basic functionality.

RE: Cameras
By Verran on 2/12/2009 11:06:21 AM , Rating: 2
Again, what does iPhone locking have to do with my casual mention of my iPod (which happens to be an 80GB classic)?

Some people told me I should get a Zune. By your rationale, I guess now's the perfect time to mention that I don't like the implementation of UAC in Vista then, huh?

Like I said, people seem to just come out of the woodwork to b**** about Apple at every turn. Just let it go and accept the fact that not everyone wants the same things you do from a media player.

RE: Cameras
By MozeeToby on 2/11/2009 4:56:04 PM , Rating: 2
You should check these out, they have a wifi chip inside the SD card. You take a picture, it automatically gets uploaded to your computer as soon as you enter your home wifi network.

As an underwater photog...
By rtrski on 2/11/2009 3:01:18 PM , Rating: 2
...well, at least during my insufficiently frequent vacations, this is VERY interesting. Drop a cable and card reader from my kit, add a wireless USB dongle to the laptop, and no longer have to crack open the housing just to pull and swap cards between dives. The fewer times I have to seal and unseal that housing, the better.

I was originally really interested in those CF cards with built-in wireless for just this reason, but at their transfer speeds it just wasn't worth'd eat up so much camera battery waiting for the transfer it was just exchanging one problem for another.

RE: As an underwater photog...
By otispunkmeyer on 2/11/2009 5:46:48 PM , Rating: 2
yeah definately sounds good this WUSB

whats the range on it though? 300mW power probably means you gotta be within a few feet (single digits)

RE: As an underwater photog...
By omnicronx on 2/12/2009 10:57:22 AM , Rating: 2
300mW power probably means you gotta be within a few feet (single digits)

To get the speeds they mention, without a doubt. Seems kind of pointless to me, unless you are in a location that you don't have a docking station.

USB 3.0 and Bluetooth
By Jansen on 2/11/2009 2:58:51 PM , Rating: 2
If I was going to transfer files, I'd use USB 3.0 or eSATA. For small files, Bluetooth will do.

Hopefully, Samsung will allow you to turn this off to prevent battery drainage.

RE: USB 3.0 and Bluetooth
By teldar on 2/11/2009 6:37:01 PM , Rating: 2
Just need usb 3.0 to be adopted and see some products. It does seem to me that esata is the way to go currently.

By KingstonU on 2/11/2009 3:51:58 PM , Rating: 2
Hurray! I truly hate proprietary hardware. Nothing more annoying when you want to transfer your files to a friends device or vice versa only to find they are not compatible.

Companies do this on purpose only because it makes more money, not because it's better hardware. *Points finger at Sony and Apple*

Power Costs?
By GTVic on 2/11/2009 5:55:17 PM , Rating: 2
Bluetooth is a power hog on cell phones, I wonder if this could replace it and if it uses less power.

gee what about...
By HighWing on 2/11/2009 9:56:27 PM , Rating: 2
So most of the "possibilities" that this mentions for w-usb have been around for bluetooth for awhile now. But it took several years for some of them to come out in Bluetooth. And I remember the same song and dance when Bluetooth came out. Yet it seems like only recently has it really started to pick up and get adopted more.

Honestly at the moment the only real benefit I see for using this over Bluetooth would be the speed. Which realistically is only a factor when transferring large amounts of data like files from device-pc etc. But for other uses, such as wireless headphones/speakers, small data transfer(1 song) etc, why would manufactures want to use this over Bluetooth?

"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007
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