Version 1.0 of the Wireless USB spec - promoted as the successor to USB data transfer - should be approved by mid-May, Intel has claimed.

Wireless USB offers 480 Mbit/s over about three metres and it will work at lower speeds up to a distance of 10 metres. The protocol will run over an underlying ultra wide band (UWB) connection, defined by the WiMedia Alliance.

The Intel-backed WiMedia Alliance, has FCC approval for its technology in the US, but is working outside the formal standards bodies - as is the Wireless USB group - because of deadlock within the IEEE standards body. WiMedia has absorbed the allied MBOA group.

The Wireless USB Promoter Group received a candidate Version 1.0 specification on 1 April, and will give it a 45-day review, said Jeff Ravencraft, technology strategist for Intel's Communications Technology Lab. "The new news is we'll have the specification finalised on or about 15 May," he said.

Version 1.0 of any technology is a key specification that enables developers to start product design. The Wireless USB Promoter Group, which is authorising the specification, consists of Agere, HP, Microsoft, NEC, Philips Semiconductors, Samsung, and Intel.

Consumers can look forward to a handful of Wireless USB products appearing in shops in the US by the end of this year, with many more products following in the first half of 2006, Ravencraft said.

NEC Electronics expects to have its first products on sale in Japan during the first half of 2006, according to Yoshiyuki Tomoda, senior manager at the company's PC Peripheral Systems Division.

Intel is planning to increase Wireless USB's transfer speed to 1 Gbit/s before the end of the decade, said Brad Hosler, Wireless USB architect at Intel's Communications Technology Lab.