Two items of feedback: TI says it's "actively involved" in ultra- wideband, and the Wimedia Alliance says the technology is doing fine, thanks.
"While it is correct that TI withdrew from WiMedia, we have not 'pulled out of the technology,'" says a communication from Texas Instruments, following our report that it had. "Rather, TI believes that UWB is a unique technology with merits and is actively participating in the UWB space."
The comments which we reported from TI (given to another writer) were a bit less optimistic than that, and we haven't been able to find anything more recent than last July on TI's website, but we'd guess that it's possible the company is still keeping some work ticking over, not for handsets from the sound of it, but maybe for home networks.
Meanwhile, Wimedia says we should ignore TI's doubts. "I don't recall exactly when TI reoriented their business and departed WiMedia, but it's probably been a year ago," says Bill Carney of WiQuest, who chairs the Alliance's marketing group. "Being out of the UWB industry for that long to me suggests their perspective may not be as precise as from companies working diligently in the space."
"Momentum is steadily building for WiMedia-based products," says Carney. "The availability of WiMedia Certified Wireless Platforms (CWPs) has nearly doubled since the first 12 were announced in October 2007. There are now 23 CWPs from 11 different vendors available for integration into UWB-enabled devices."
There are a variety of end-products available in the market today, he says, from manufacturers such as Belkin, Dell, D-Link, Iogear, Lenovo, NEC and Toshiba. It's true - there's a list on the USB site and products include Iogear's GUWH104KIT (a $200 hub), as well as and laptops (it's $52 extra on a Lenovo ThinkPad T61).
He predicts plenty more platforms this year, from WiQuest and other vendors, and says there's activity that could take it into mobile devices - "Recent certification of the first upper-band PHY implementations pave the way for incorporation of UWB into mobile devices," he says. "All of these milestones position UWB well for mass market adoption in multiple product applications."
That doesn't change the fact that it's running about three years later than was predicted, and is now competing against versions of Wi-Fi which are still slower than UWB is supposed to be - but are faster than they were, and much cheaper than UWB currently is.