LeCroy demonstrates ultra-wideband protocol analyzer

To increase its presence in the growing serial data test-solutions market, LeCroy Corp. has started demonstrating its UWBTracer, which it reports is the industry's first protocol analyzer for the new ultra wideband (UWB) WiMedia and wireless USB (WUSB) standard.


To increase its presence in the growing serial data test-solutions market, LeCroy Corp . has started demonstrating its UWBTracer, which it reports is the industry's first protocol analyzer for the new ultra wideband (UWB) WiMedia and wireless USB (WUSB) standard. Developed by LeCroy's Protocol Solutions Group, UWBTracer will help semiconductor manufacturers develop chipsets for WUSB in electronic devices from consumer electronics to computers. LeCroy supplies oscilloscopes and serial data test solutions.

These first demonstrations of the UWBTracer were held at the recent Wireless USB Developers Conference in San Jose, CA, and at WiCon World in London, U.K. Staccato Communications' WUSB Development System and an Intel Prototype System were used.

LeCroy says UWBTracer is more efficient and cost-effective than existing UWB test methods, enabling developers to improve time-to-market for UWB products that meet WiMedia and WUSB standards. First major application for ultra wideband is WUSB. A wireless extension of the USB PC interface, WUSB can be added to existing USB products without any modification and may achieve the same performance as wired high-speed USB technology. Industry analysts reportedly predict that UWB chip shipments will begin this year and rise to 250 million by 2010.

WUSB connections are initially expected to replace traditional wired USB in select electronics products, such as printers, digital cameras, hard disk drives, and desktop and notebook PCs. Industry analysts expect there will be more than 1.1 billion products sold that employ wired USB in 2008, resulting in significant potential for WUSB. Longer term, a wide range of lower-priced consumer electronics and PCs are expected to adopt this new wireless standard.

"When LeCroy acquired CATC, it gained a rich history of commitment to emerging protocol technologies," says Scott Bausback, LeCroy’s VP and COO. "CATC was the first to introduce an analyzer for USB and for Bluetooth. Now, LeCroy is the first to introduce an ultra wideband protocol analyzer. This introduction allows us to further increase our penetration of the serial data market by supporting ultra wideband, WiMedia and Wireless USB. With UWBTracer, LeCroy will be providing an important technology enabler in an exciting growth area. Design engineers have been looking for a tool like this to complete their designs and verify the performance of their UWB and WUSB chipsets. In turn, consumer product manufacturers can more quickly integrate the new WUSB technology and functionality into products."

Rick Kornfeld, Staccato’s president and CEO, adds that, "Compliance and interoperability are key underpinnings of any communications standard, and LeCroy protocol analyzers have been the backbone of wired USB and Bluetooth C&I testing for many years now. Staccato has developed and demonstrated the world's first single-chip, all-CMOS PHY, and MAC that supports WiMedia specifications, and our customers welcome tools such as LeCroy's UWBTracer that improve time-to-market for new standards-based UWB products."

—Jim Montague, news editor, Control Engineering, jmontague@reedbusiness.com

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