Networks get more personal

* Advances to come in personal-area networks

An emerging LAN is very local indeed - the so-called “personal-area network.”

A key technology being considered for PANs is ultrawideband, which is a radio technology for sending data at high speeds over very limited distances. Intel recently demonstrated ultrawideband at 220M bit/sec over a few feet.

Applications for such a technology would include connecting peripherals in a room without physically connecting them. PANs don’t provide for contact with the outside world or Internet; the network is supposedly contained, personal.

UWB uses 7.5 GHz of spectrum, which is 80 times as wide as the spectrum used by IEEE 802.11b wireless LANs.

But that spectrum isn’t traditional radio spectrum, as the Network World Encyclopedia explains. It’s the spectrum where you might find electronic “noise” created by computer processors or TV sets or electric razors.

Products using the technology are expected by 2004 or 2005.

The IEEE 802.15 working group is looking into this area. The group in the past has worked on other wireless PAN standards, such as using Bluetooth technology.

In December, the group received authorization from the IEEE for a project investigating at alternative high-speed technologies. The task group that was formed as a result is looking to put together a draft standard before year-end.

Learn more about this topic

Network World Encyclopedia: Ultrawideband

IEEE 802.15 page

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