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UWB RF silicon to deliver broadcast-quality video

Sunnyvale, Calif.—IC supplier Tzero Technologies is readying what it says will be the industry's first ICs that can support near-flawless broadcast-quality video over wireless networks. Tzero's TZ110 and TZ7210 CMOS chips, to be delivered as a WiMedia Alliance -compliant UWB (ultra wideband) chipset, are slated to ship in July.

Tzero says its UWB devices will let consumer electronics manufacturers provide wireless network products for connecting home entertainment systems, computers, and other CE (consumer electronics) devices within a home or office. Tzero claims its TZ110/TZ7210 chipset will provide non-line-of-sight operation, which lets video devices communicate through walls to extend across multiple rooms. (Although not everyone agrees).

In a cable-free home most of the boxes in living rooms would move to media closets, and TVs and speakers could be placed anywhere. Consumers would be able to do that without worrying how far a cable would reach.

Tzero Technologies says its UWB chipset will give consumer electronics companies the technology to deliver on that vision, with wireless video connectivity unhindered by walls or transmissions in the same band from other devices.

UltraMIMO

These SoC (system-on-a-chip) devices rely on what Tzero calls its UltraMIMO (multiple input multiple output) architecture. It uses two antennas providing for extended range, boosted data rate, diversity, and interference cancellation.

Operating in the 3.1-GHz through 4.8-GHz band, the system uses OFDM (orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing) with QPSK (quadrature phase-shift keying) and DCM with forward error correction. It also relies on 128-bit AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) encryption.

Low Packet-Error-Rate Operation

Tzero Technologies says its chipset is the only one of its kind that can meet the link reliability and MPEG packet error-rate requirements defined by the IEEE docs authored by Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, Sharp , and Sony . This spec calls for less than one packet error in more than two hours of high-definition video.

The company claims its silicon also features performance up to 10-million times greater than other wireless networks, with transmission speeds of up to 480-Mbits/s. The system exhibits a 10-8 packet error rate, ensuring 99-percent link reliability.

That data rate and reliability factor is what lets it support broadcast-quality video. The system's receiver touts a -83-dBm (16-µV) sensitivity spec. The transmitter section develops -41.25-dBm/MHz of spread-spectrum power.

The scheme also avoids interference from microwave ovens, cordless phones, and Bluetooth devices by a factor of -10-dB (interference can be 10x stronger than the desired signal, with no degradation in link quality).

Internet Protocol At Heart

The TZ7110 and TZ7210 UWB provides networked connectivity through the ubiquitous IP (Internet Protocol) network, which supports any-device-to-any-device communication. Supporting the WiMedia Alliance UWB standard, Tzero's chipset supports video streaming.

Able to carry three or more high-definition video streams across a 20-meter range while running at 100-Mbits/s, Tzero supports wireless networks that can connect multiple devices at the same time.

Let's look a bit more closely at the devices. The TZ7110 is a baseband mixed-signal SoC, including both the (PHY (physical) layer and MAC (media access control) layer. As it stands, the device can support Windows, Linux , and other host operating systems.

For its part, the companion TZ7210 RF chip can handle both single and multiple antennas.

Embedded application software can run on its internal MIPS processor core, or externally on a processor of an OEM's choice.

Reference Design Support

Tzero's chipset will be complemented by the company's UWB Mini-PCI reference design. It can speed the time-to-market launch of UWB-based audio-video systems.

The Tzero UWB Mini-PCI reference design is available in PCI, Mini-PCI , and PC formats. The reference design package includes a pair of transceivers so that you can test end-for-end connectivity and performance.

The reference design also uses both single- and multiple-antenna configurations. Finally, the reference design also uses a standard edge connector to the host along with two RF connectors for attaching the antennas.

Availability

Production availability of the TZ7110/TZ7210 UWB chipset and the associated UWB Mini-PCI reference design begins in July. Pricing is expected to be competitive with present IEEE-802.11n approaches.

To access datasheets for these products, you must register on Tzero's Web site.

For more details contact Tzero Technologies, Inc., 455 West Maude Ave., Suite 100, Sunnyvale, Calif. 94085. Phone: 408-328-5000. E-mail: sales@Tzerotech.com

Tzero Technologies ,408-328-5000, www.tzti.com

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