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[qi:004] Ultra-wideband startup TZero Technologies has shut down, according to a story posted today by EETimes. The chipmaker, which raised $18 million back in March, joins at least two other defunct UWB startups that had hoped to use the wireless technology to transmit large amounts of data short distances. This leaves UWB startups Alereon, Wisair, Radiospire and the recently funded combination of Staccato Communications and Artimi left fighting over a shrinking opportunity.
UWB was pitched as ideal for delivering HD video wirelessly, or as a wireless docking station for computer peripherals. But because of false starts and the high cost of UWB chips, it never gained a foothold in the consumer market. Now, established technologies such as Wi-Fi, and new ones such as WirelessHD, have rendered UWB moot. The remaining startups are pitching UWB for mobile phones, but because of cost, space and power consumption reasons, the mobile market is far less forgiving than the PC market when it comes to taking on extra silicon. I’m not holding my breath.