5.2. Initial Mass Market Opportunities
The unique characteristics of UWB communications make it suitable for multiple large mass markets, including several consumer electronics products, personal computers (PCs), peripherals, wireless local area networks (WLANs), wireless personal area networks (WPANs), and smart phone applications. The marketing research firm ON World predicts that by 2010, the number of UWB chip sets shipped will surpass that for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi chip sets combined. Initially, most of the excitement over UWB is that it enables very high data ratespotentially higher than those made possible with FireWire (IEEE 1394)without wires, with low power consumption, and with minimal to no interference to other wireless technologies. Thus, the killer UWB application would be wireless streaming of video over short distances. Many of the first UWB products will be cable replacements, especially for implementations that merge USB and FireWire in the wired world. UWB products are set to reach multigigabit data rates (at less than 20 meters) in the near future.
Today, devices such as PCs, laptops, printers, digital cameras, video camcorders, DVD drives, digital audio players, and many other devices are tethered through cable interfaces based on the USB 2.0 or FireWire (IEEE 1394) standards. This application is especially significant because UWB holds the potential to unwire current consumer devices, PCs, and peripherals while unifying the PC, consumer electronics (CE), and soon the mobile industries. (See Figure 5-1.)
Figure 5-1. Initial target UWB applications