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TZero Falls Victim to the UWB Curse

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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.

2 Responses to “TZero Falls Victim to the UWB Curse”

  1. The biggest problem with UWB companies is they still don’t deliver what they promise. They just keep raising money. I’ve worked with three companies in the space, all had the same messages, all had the same demos at the trade shows, all had the same weaknesses, and they never fixed the problem. The best thing that coul happen is someone to roll up the remaining companies into one or two players and focus the resources on solving the problem.

  2. Jesse Kopelman

    WirelessHD can do pretty much everything the current incarnation of UWB was supposed to do. The UWB standards people probably need to go back to petitioning the FCC to allow more flexibility in spectrum use and channel size. Then they could reposition UWB as a future physical layer (PHY) for WiFi.