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.